Bristol: building a city fit for children



27 November 2019
9.30 – 12.30

Bristol City Hall
Bristol
England

This special session, before the main international conference, explored how a child-friendly city partnership is working to make a city fit for children.

Aims of the session

  • Raise awareness about CFC and Children’s Charter in Bristol
  • Understand the challenges and vision for children in Bristol
  • Understanding what is needed to achieve change
  • Inspiring and enabling action within the built environment sector

In the UK, the need to address the decline in children’s physical and mental health is reaching a point of urgency. There is growing recognition that children’s ‘place’ in society – and in the built environment – is a key factor: their ability to play out and be active, get around independently, breathe clean air, have social and civic confidence, access what their cities have to offer, feel a sense of belonging and be part of their communities.

Also – increasingly coming from children themselves – they need, want and have a right to a voice in local decision-making.

Bristol Child Friendly City is a collaboration between civil society organisations, Bristol City Council, the University of Bristol, children and young people. With no formal structure or funding, its role has been to convene conversations across the city and to encourage a shift in thinking, policy and practice towards prioritising children’s needs in the public realm.

Our vision is for all children in Bristol to have access to the physical and democratic space of their city, and for this to be a factor in all strategic and political decision making within the city.

This session was for anyone in Bristol or for visitors to our city who work at any level in the realm of place-making, planning, design, transport, housing, play – anyone whose job it is to help develop the fabric of the public realm and city life.

They joined us to look at the scale of the problem for children; to hear from internationally respected speakers, learn more about our aims for Bristol and progress so far, including how the new Children’s Charter could help achieve these.

In the second half of the session, there was an opportunity to explore and unpick some of the challenges to prioritising children’s needs within the built environment and public realm. Through this, we gained a clearer practical sense of how we can all make this important change for children a reality.

Speakers included:

  • Tim Gill, Rethinking Childhood
  • Dinah Bornat, ZCD Architects
  • Adrian Voce, European Network for Child Friendly Cities
  • Children from Room 13 Hareclive

This session was facilitated by the Bristol Child Friendly City partnership:

  • Cllr. Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Women, Children and Families, Bristol City Council
  • Amy Harrison, Architecture Centre Bristol
  • Alice Ferguson, Playing Out
  • Ingrid Skeels, Room 13 Hareclive and Playing Out
  • Prof. Debbie Watson, University of Bristol 

Aims of the session:

  • Raise awareness about CFC and Children’s Charter in Bristol
  • Understand the challenges and vision for children in Bristol
  • Understanding what is needed to achieve change
  • Inspiring and enabling action within the built environment sector

Agenda

9.30-9.45: Arrival & coffee

9.45-9.50: Welcome to the conference – Adrian Voce, President of the European Network for Child Friendly Cities

9.50-10.05: Introduction to the Bristol Child Friendly City initiative and vision – Amy Harrison, Ingrid Skeels, Alice Ferguson, and Debbie Watson

10.05-10.10: Short Film: Madi from Hartcliffe

10.10-10.20: Bristol City Council’s role and the Children’s Charter – Cllr. Helen Godwin, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, Bristol City Council

10.20-10.40: What does a Child Friendly City look like? An International perspective – Tim Gill, Rethinking Childhood

10.40-11.00: Q&A /discussion

11.00-11.20: The role of the placemaker: Hackney and the London Plan – Dinah Bornat, ZCD Architects

11.20-12.00: Workshop/discussion

12.00-12.15: Roundup and next steps for Bristol

12.15-12.25: Children from Room 13 Hareclive

12.30: Conference Lunch


Image: Room 13 Hareclive