International Children’s City Congress
The cities we have established both meet our needs and create new needs for us. Although our cities need to be structured to meet the needs of everyone, the expectations, demands and needs of children from the cities they live in can be lost from time to time among other jobs, projects and activities that are considered priorities. This leads to deficiencies in the activities carried out in the cities for our children who make up one third of the society, sometimes children cannot experience their cities to the full, and urban life may become challenging and full of obstacles for children.
Local governments, which are the units closest to the environment where the child lives, have been given duties in this subject matter in both national and international regulations. With the Convention on the Rights of the Children of the United Nations that became a part of the domestic law in Turkey since 27 January 1995, the importance attached to children is increasing day by day. At this point, local governments shoulder great responsibilities. Local governments should ensure the communication of children who are the most important members of our society with the space around them, while constructing livable and sustainable cities.
In this context, MMU, which already supports policies and practices generated with a focus on human and nature, the most essential elements of a sustainable city life, conducts a congress program leveraged by various workshops involving the Children’s City efforts which lays the ground for discussing the children’s needs and problems through an inclusive approach aside from evaluations from field experts in order to design and manage livable cities for everybody.
The efforts of the Children’s City Congress has two main objectives:
• Increasing the awareness in children who make up nearly one third of the population in Turkey (population under 18) by those who manage the city (local and central) and by those who work for the city (academics, designers and non-governmental experts etc.)
• Discovering the obstacles children encounter in city life and presenting solutions, projects and international examples to overcome these obstacles.
The 1st International Children’s City Congress focused on the relation between children and the city in 2015 with the theme “For the Child with the Child”. Organized in 2016, the 2nd the International Children’s City Congress analyzed the interaction of immigrant children with the new city under the theme of “A City for an Immigrant Child”.