UNICEF USA launches first program for child-friendly cities Urban Planning

Houston, San Francisco and Minneapolis are part of the first cohort of cities officially working towards UNICEF Child Friendly Cities status in the US.

The three cities, together with Prince George’s County in Maryland, will conduct an ambitious two-year process towards UNICEF recognition, which is now established worldwide.

UNICEF’s Child Friendly Cities Program was originally launched in 1996 and uses a framework based on children’s rights to create a roadmap for creating safer, more equitable, equitable, inclusive, and child-responsive cities and communities around the world. It now operates in over 3,000 churches in 40 countries.

“Action plan that prioritizes the well-being of children”

Michael J. Nyenhuis, President and CEO of UNICEF USA, said: “There have been so many challenges this year that have struck children and families deeply, and they also demonstrated the vital role local governments play in helping them. As an organization dedicated to protecting and helping children around the world for nearly 74 years, UNICEF USA is proud to use this moment to visit Houston, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Prince George’s County here in the US build better communities for children. ”

Community leaders and community leaders in these urban settings will conduct a detailed analysis of the child’s best interests in each city. Based on these findings, the cities will implement an action plan that prioritizes the well-being of children and young people as part of their local policies.

CFCI will empower leaders to address the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and systemic racism on children, tackle discrimination and speak out in local governance and decision-making.

“Protecting and empowering young people”

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said, “The city prides itself on being an inclusive and equitable city, designed to build resilience for its most vulnerable residents, our youngest children. Children under the age of 18 make up 25 percent of the total population in Houston, and children under five make up 7.8 percent. We want you to feel welcome, safe, and supported to thrive in any setting. As part of the Child-Friendly Cities Initiative, we will continue to protect and empower young people in all areas of our community. “

Gretchen Musicant, Minneapolis City Health Commissioner, said, “I was in a group from Minneapolis that met with others from across the country in May 2019 to start a kid-friendly city initiative in the United States. These efforts build on decades of work in Minneapolis on Minneapolis focused on the welfare of young people. It only seems natural that Minneapolis would be among the first to take official action with UNICEF USA. “

As part of the CFCI Framework of Action, the cohort cities and communities will set goals in five target areas that focus on supporting children and young people, including: safety and inclusion, child participation, equitable social services, safe living environment, and play and leisure.

“Share what we’re working on and learn from other cities.”

London N. Breed, Mayor of San Francisco, said the city is committed to “creating a city that is safe and welcoming to children, young people and their families,” adding, “It has been clear in the past few months It has become how much COVID-19 has taken over young people and families, and it’s important that we continue to work together to develop policies that will support our residents now and in the future. We are excited to join this cohort to share what we’re working on and to learn from other cities in the US. “

And Angela Alsobrooks, County Executive of Prince George’s County added: “Prince George’s is set to be the first county in the United States to be part of this critical initiative to build an inclusive community for our children. Our children represent the future of our county, state, and nation. We are determined to raise their voices and empower them to provide a better future for every resident as we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. “

click Here Learn more about the Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the United States.

click Here More information on UNICEF’s global CFC initiatives.

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