Call for papers*

*May be abstracts, presentation proposals or workshop ideas: this is not an academic conference, but rather brings research, policy, and practice together.



Towards the Child Friendly City
Children’s rights in the built environment

27-29 November, 2019
Bristol City Hall,
Bristol, UK


Conference themes

Delegates are invited to submit proposals for presentations, workshops or poster displays addressing the overall theme of the conference, children’s rights in the built environment.

In addition, submissions should address one of the following specific themes:

  1. Planning, housing, and the neighbourhood environment
  2. Activism and children’s voices
  3. The needs and rights of refugee and other migrant children
  4. Children’s mobility, travel, and transport

Submitted papers might address some of the suggested questions, or explore other issues relevant to the theme, supported in each case by relevant evidence.

1. Planning, housing, and the neighbourhood environment

What is the role of planning policy in creating playable, child-friendly neighbourhoods?
What is the role of design and architecture in producing the conditions for children’s play and mobility?
With increasing density, what are the tensions, in spatial planning, between social policy, economic forces, and children’s rights: is ‘gentrification’ part of the child-friendly city?

2. Activism and children’s voices

How do child-friendly cities support children and young people as active citizens?
How do advocacy and participation models best respond to children and young people’s direct action for change?
What are the synergies, or tensions, between children and young people’s culture, children’s rights, community activism, and public policy?

3. Refugee and other migrant children

What are the global dimensions – and responsibilities – of the child-friendly city movement?
How should child-friendly cities respond to the refugee crisis?
How can advocacy and professional practice support progress on children’s rights for migrating and refugee children?

4. Children’s mobility, travel, and transport

What are the pressures on children and young people that inhibit their freedom to move around their neighbourhoods?
How can traffic management, highways engineering and public transport do more for children’s mobility?
What examples are there of transport policy effectively supporting children’s rights?


Crosscutting issues

In addition to the four themes, we encourage submissions to consider one or more of these crosscutting questions:

a. The built environment and the climate emergency
How can the built environment support children’s rights to enjoy nature, and tackle the overarching challenges of climate change, carbon reduction, and sustainable development?

b. Scaling up
What are the narratives, methods, and resources necessary to translate research findings and innovative practice on children’s rights in the urban environment into public policy on a population scale?

c. Responding to all ages
How should the built environment respect and safeguard the rights of all ages of children: from pregnant women, babies, and toddlers, to older teenagers?

d. Equality and inclusion
How do child-friendly cities ensure adherence to the fundamental principles of universal children’s rights, non-discrimination, inclusion, and accessibility for all, in the face of developmental and economic pressures?


Format for submissions

We welcome submissions of between 250-500* words, in English, which may be:

  • abstracts of research papers or think-pieces, appropriately referenced
  • summary case studies of projects, programmes or policy initiatives
  • outlines for longer, interactive workshops

*Abstracts for poster presentations: 200 words

Submissions should include

  • the full name and title of the presenter(s)
  • the full title and any sub-heading for the presentation
  • which theme (1-4) is being addressed, and which crosscutting issues (a-d) are considered
  • whether the proposal is for a poster (display) presentation, paper presentation (20 mins), or interactive workshop (60 mins)
  • a short abstract
  • a short professional biography of the presenter(s)

Presentations can be in a variety of different media and formats. Proposals for interactive workshops should include a clear description of the format, process and any methodology to be used; and also indicate any audio-visual, technical or logistical features necessary for the session.

The time for each presentation will be 20 minutes, and for each interactive workshop, 60 minutes. Each session will include additional time for Q&A.


Where and when to submit

Please submit your abstract or proposal by 31 July 2019: email here

Submissions will only be accepted for inclusion in the programme by registered delegates to the conference.

Register before 31 July to secure the early-bird delegate rate: book here

Thank you!