Urban Inequities and Children Conference – April 28-29, 2016

Flyer drawing

On April 28 and 29, 2016, Equity for Children, in partnership with the Center for New York City Affairs, organized a two-day conference with the support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP) at the University of Bergen, Norway, Fundacion Corona, The New School’s Global Urban Futures project, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy, to address the following questions:

  • – What are the key challenges to identifying childhood inequities in cities?
  • – How can evidence be gathered, measured and translated into action?
  • – How can children’s views be included in the design of cities that are equitable for all its inhabitants?

See the conference agenda here.

Day 1 – Addressing Urban Inequities in Childhood — A Conceptual Framework and Practical Actions

April 28, 2016 at 4:30pm to 8:00pm

The New School University Center, Hoerle Lecture Hall, 63 Fifth Avenue, Lower Level, Room 105

This session provided an overarching conceptual framework and highlighted practical actions to help identify key inequities affecting urban children that prevent them from leading safe and fulfilling lives.

Watch the livestream of the event here:


Day 2 – Workshop: Advancing the Agenda of Children — Facing Urban Inequities (for invited public only)

April 29, 2016 at 9:00am to 1:30pm

The New School, Orozco Room, 66 W. 12th Street, Room 712

This workshop focused on incorporating children’s participation in urban design and planning processes.  The event included presentations by academics, practitioners and donors and an overview of the Bernard van Leer Foundation’s Urban95 program.

The presentations and discussion centered around issues related to:

  • – Early childhood equity as connected to cities’ urban planning and design
  • – Child wellbeing and equity considerations for urban society and its development
  • – Urban social development initiatives in general that directly impact children

Specific links were made to the UN Habitat process, in preparation for the upcoming UN Habitat III Conference that will take place in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.

Watch the livestream of the event here:

Featured Projects: Latin America and New York City

Holland’s Bernard van Leer Foundation has launched globally the Urban95 project, addressing urban planning and design that incorporate child voice, perspective and participation.  Few cities incorporate the views of children in urban planning and design anywhere in the world, other than in schools, playgrounds and children’s museums. The Bernard van Leer Foundation is addressing child inequities by fostering innovation in this area.

In Colombia, Equity for Children develops research and advocacy in partnership with Cómo Vamos and Fundación Corona, analyzing and comparing early childhood quality of life across seven Colombian cities. The project fosters action between local government, citizens and NGOs. It obtains data to support better policies and then analyzes the disaggregated information to uncover inequities and advocate solutions that guarantee child rights. The resulting analysis and recommendations are presented to local government authorities, enabling citizens to monitor children’s living conditions and the policies that affect them in their communities.  Replicable tools are created for other locales (1). Equity for Children and the Bernard van Leer Foundation are expanding the model to Brazil and Peru.

In New York City, Mayor de Blasio’s New York City Children’s Cabinet, created in 2015, promotes intra-agency collaboration on issues of child safety and wellbeing.  The Children’s Cabinet develops opportunities for service providers to leverage each others’ work for a greater cumulative impact on early childhood and families.  Spearheaded by Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, former Executive Director of Children’s Aid Society, this multi-agency effort will create a comprehensive framework to support and enhance child wellbeing. It follows the Mayor’s plan: “One New York, The Plan for a Strong and Just City” (2).


Download the Conference Report here.


(1) For additional information, please visit http://bit.ly/1IV8vzE

(2) For additional information about NYC, visit http://on.nyc.gov/1TCL3hU and http://on.nyc.gov/1MZJecu

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