Bristol Child Friendly City Network

Initiative to develop Bristol into a city that embodies the UN Rights of the Child.

Child Friendly Cities champion the role and voice of children in the city through the themes of public space, independence and play, culture and creativity, and children’s voice and democracy.

In early 2015, the Architecture CentrePlaying OutRoom 13 Hareclive and the University of Bristol initiated the Bristol Child Friendly City Network.

The Network’s starting point is for joint action and change on the public and civic life of children (especially those under 14), outside of formal education. It asks: how can ALL children be better considered in the physical and democratic ‘space’ of Bristol? This is underpinned by wider initiatives to create a safer, healthier, more equal and connected city for everyone. The Network notes that:

  • Approximately 25% of Bristol’s citizens are under 18.  Yet children have no democratic rights or financial power and little control over their environment and life situation
  • Children have their own questions, concerns, ideas and solutions to contribute to their city
  • One day, children will be adult citizens, and their experiences now whilst growing up will shape their future choices, their behaviour, and the city we all live in.

For these reasons, child citizens need adults to act for and with them to uphold their rights and enable their full participation in the life of our city, for the benefit of all.

Bristol Child Friendly City Vision

In 2015 the Bristol Child Friendly City working group consulted with voluntary and statutory organisations, children, young people and academics through a series of events, culminating in Bristol’s first Child Friendly City Symposium. The result was a three part vision:

  • All children have safe, independent mobility and access to the city of Bristol and its resources, including streets, communities, green space, the city centre, play, sport, arts, culture/youth culture
  • All children feel heard and have a say in decision making on things that affect their lives
  • Adults in positions of power make decisions with all children in mind

To find out more visit the blog:

The Bristol Child Friendly City network was initiated by three grass roots organisations: Architecture Centre, Playing Out, and Room 13 Hareclive, in partnership with the University of Bristol.

It is inspired by UNICEF Child Friendly Cities, a global initiative to develop child friendly cities/communities that embody the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Bristol Child Friendly City Symposium was kindly supported by: University of Bristol Thinking Futures Festival, Policy Bristol and ESRC Festival of Social Science.

In partnership with: