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Children-Friendly Cities

We believe that if a city is great for a 3 year old, it’s great for everyone! Children constitute a third of the current urban population. By 2050, 70% of world children will live in cities. We are creating cities where children grow, learn and thrive!

Why children friendly cities?

In the words of Gil Penalosa, “A great cities is where people sleep at home and live outside.” This is a very simple definition of how great cities ought to be. Living outside means that all people including children, young, elderly, women, men and disabled are able to undertake various activities outside their home such as meeting with their neighbors, playing with friends and most importantly connecting with nature.  Are our cities giving us the opportunity to be outside? Is it even safe for a three year old in a tri-cycle go anywhere? 

Do cities even provide basic facilities such as baby changing facilities for infants and toddlers that can encourage parents to travel often with a baby? Can parents even use a stroller on the streets?  What about public transport? How many parks, healthcare and other services are accessible within proximity of walking or cycling? What if infants, toddlers and children would speak? What would they say about how we design the spaces they live in? What if we designed our cities with a lens of a 3 year old? What could we do differently?

Our Projects On Children Friendly Cities

Gikomba Market Day Care

Could daycare be the missing link to women‘s economic empowerment in Kenya? Covid-19 pandemic has deepened the pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, and economic systems of cities particularly for women. Lack of alternative affordable childcare services prompt women to bring their babies as they earn a living. The market centers offer great employment opportunities with women being 80% of informal vendors in Nairobi. While these enable women to earn a living, the facilities fail to provide quality childcare services to support women in undertaking their business while taking care of their children. The early years of a child (0-5), lays the foundation for the social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development for the rest of a person’s life. Our initiative entails the provision of daycare services in markets to ensure that children receive quality child care for proper growth and development to enable their caregivers to engage in paid labour.

Safe streets for Kids!

Transport systems especially in the sub-Saharan Africa region are often designed and planned for male, long-distance commuters. In most cases, children’s and their caregivers needs are often ignored as they tend to move differently in cities. For Infants, Toddlers and their caregivers, their trips are shorter, off-peak, and with frequent stops as they access services including food, health care, childcare, or even recreational activities. We are working towards ensuring that mobility needs of children and their caregivers are articulated in policy, planning and designing of transport systems to ease access of goods and services.

We have partnered with Kisumu City in implementing this program.

Children Friendly Parks

Play is vital for children growth and development. They learn motor, coordination, social skills as well as enhance their muscle and mental strength. Play need to be free and accessible for all children. That’s why need parks to be provided, protected and maintained for use of all people. Failure to provide parks means that we are robbing childhood from our children. Not including the children mean we will have fewer children in our streets. We work with communities in reclaiming, redesigning and implementing safe spaces for children to play.

Related Work

Peninah Ndegwa, Founder Wow Mom an organization committed to creating child-friendly cities

Peninah Ndegwa, Founder Wow Mom an organization committed to creating child-friendly cities

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