The project “The City of Children”

Find out more about the project here, and read a direct extract below.

The project «The City of Children» was born in Fano in May 1991 from Francesco Tonucci’s idea, with a specific political goal: to promote a change of the parameter of government of the city, starting from the child instead of the adult. The children take an active role in the process of change, participating concretely in the government and design of the city and regaining possession of the urban space. The project has as its natural interlocutor the mayor of the city, as all sectors of the administration are involved.

The proposal: a new parameter

Asking local administrators, especially mayors, to use the child rather than the adult as a parameter of city government means trying to stop the degenerative process that affects the urban context. It means adopting a different and forward-looking view of the priorities of administrative policy choices. Moving from the management that favours cars to the management that favours pedestrians allows the city to be re-developed from every point of view.

To be effective, this process must be based not only on the consensus of citizens, but on their active involvement. The children of the city are the real agents of change. They are involved in active participation so that this process is not limited to the logic of vehicular circulation (Ariès, 1996). Children are called to participate as requested by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989), which establishes their right to express opinions on decisions that affect them (Article 12) and their right to be heard because their opinion is important to all.

The re-appropriation of the urban environment, the recovery of various forms of play and the autonomous movement in the city are essential not only for the healthy development of the child but also and above all for a better development of the city itself.

In Practice

The adhesion of the cities to the project is given personally by the mayor and confirmed by a deliberation of the CityCouncil. Joining the project does not have any economic cost but represents the political will to engage in the respect of the children and for the change of the city.

How to join the project (Italian version)

How to join the project (Spanish version)

Learn more

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child – Children’s version

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