Addressing Urban Inequities in Childhood and Advancing the Agenda of Children

On April 28 and 29, 2016, Equity for Children held the “Urban Inequities and Children” conference at The New School, in partnership with the Center for New York City Affairs.[1]  High level researchers, local government representatives, multilateral agency directors, and foundation representatives from more than 10 countries discussed how to improve public policy and urban design to ensure quality early childhood development in cities.


Download the Conference Report.



Watch the 3-minute Conference trailer:


During the first day open forum, Addressing Urban Inequities in Childhood, speakers discussed overarching conceptual frameworks and highlighted practical actions to help identify key inequities affecting urban children that prevent them from leading safe and fulfilling lives.

Presentations by academics and practitioners about their research and practical experiences in New York as well as other U.S. and Latin American cities were followed by a panel discussion and Q&A, moderated by Equity for Children’s Executive Director, Alberto Minujin, and Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, Darrick Hamilton.

Panelists were asked complex questions about ways in which institutionalized cultures might jeopardize the impact of policies as well as about the gap between the work of child advocacy organizations and of municipal governments. All of the panelists stressed the utmost importance of the quality of equality. Often policies and/or social services are enacted to fix an issue but fail to meet the actual needs of citizens.


-David Anthony, Chief, Sustainability and Policy Action Unit, UNICEF

-Benita Miller, Executive Director, New York City Children’s Cabinet

-Monica Villegas, Director, Cómo Vamos Bogotá


-Alberto Minujin, Executive Director, Equity for Children

-Darrick Hamilton, Associate Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and Director of the Milano Doctoral Program


-Mariana Alegre, Director, Cómo Vamos, Lima

-David Anthony, Chief, Sustainability and Policy Action Unit, UNICEF

-Benita Miller, Executive Director, New York City Children’s Cabinet

-Monica Villegas, Director, Cómo Vamos Bogotá



Watch the video of the first day open forum, Addressing Urban Inequities in Childhood.


On the second day of the Conference, a closed workshop Advancing the Agenda of Children: Facing Urban Inequities, focused on presentations and discussions of specific issues affecting children in cities, particularly in regards to urban design.

High level participants shared their experiences across fields and discussed ways to address the widening inequalities impacting children in cities across the globe.

Keynote presentations:

  • -The Urban 95 Initiative: Michael Feigelson, Executive Director, The Bernard van Leer Foundation
  • -UN Habitat III and Global Urban Futures: Michael Cohen, Professor of International Affairs, The New School/Global Urban Futures Project Lead
  • -Challenges to Implementing Early Childhood Development Initiatives in the Urban Context: Florencia Lopez Boo, Senior Social Protection Economist, Inter-American Development Bank
  • -Child Participation, Evaluation and Urban Conditions: Roger Hart, Children Children’s Environments Research Group (CERG) Director, City University of New York (CUNY)  / Bijan Kimiagar, Research Associate, CUNY
  • -The Importance of Child Participation to Address Urban Violence Against Children: Meg Gardinier, ChildFund Alliance
  • -Community Risk Ranking: Measuring Child Well-being to Advance Solutions at the Local Level. Jennifer March, Executive Director, Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York
  • -Sustainable cities and child poverty. Alberto Cimadamore, Comparative Research Programme on Poverty (CROP), University of Bergen, Norway



Watch the  video of the second day closed workshop Advancing the Agenda of Children: Facing Urban Inequities.


[1] Read more about the event here.


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