Government of India recently has launched many urban development initiatives such as Smart City Mission, AMRUT (Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation), Housing for All and HRIDAY. These present an opportunity to transform the urban cities to become more inclusive and child friendly cities as for the first time in children have been highlighted as stakeholders in the government policies and programmes.

Small Children, Big Cities :Building Smart Child-friendly Cities for 21st Century India, a two day national conference was held in New Delhi, India on 28 and 29 of November 2014,organised by Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) supported by Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) and School of Planning and Architecture (SPA). The conference brought together children, government officials, mayors, urban experts from India and abroad like professionals engaged in urban design, planning, infrastructure development, and participants from the civil society organisations. It reconnoitered how inclusive, liveable, and smart cities can be designed keeping the needs and aspirations of young children. The deliberations focused on issues pertaining to urban infrastructure and services such as housing, water and sanitation, early childhood services,mobility and safety needs of children in a city. The outcomes were then presented to the Ministry of Urban Development and have found their mention in the Smart City Mission Statement and Guidelines of Government of India. The Mission document outlines creation of walkable localities, preservation and development of open spaces, and expansion of housing opportunities for all.

Cities4Kids-Urban95 [#] , a two day international conference will be held on February 2 and 3, at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi, India. The goal of the upcoming conference is to deepen the understanding of sustainable urban development, keeping young children in the center of planning and design.

The conference will be organised by the Bernard van Leer Foundation and Confederation of Indian Industry with support from National Institute of Urban Affairs and Humara Bachpan Campaign.

© 2017 Bernard van Leer Foundation