Child-friendly cities: a place for active citizenship in geographical and environmental education

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Publication details

Wilks, JL 2010, 'Child-friendly cities: a place for active citizenship in geographical and environmental education', International Research in Geographical and Environmental Education, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 25-38.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10382040903545484


This research was designed to investigate innovative practices associated with child-friendly cities initiatives in the United Kingdom and Italy and how civics and citizenship initiatives are being applied into practical programmes of exploration and learning in geography and environmental education. The Child-Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) of the United Nations Children's Fund was launched in 1996 at the UN Conference on Human Settlement (Habitat II). At this conference it was declared that the well-being of children is the key indicator of a healthy habitat, a democratic society and good governance committed to children's rights. The CFCI was closely allied to the 1990 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in which the right of children and young people to participate in the life and decision-making of their communities became a human right. Child-friendly cities initiatives have provided a framework and a myriad of programmes in which to create ways for children and young people to develop and exercise citizenship and participation skills. These projects assist young people to investigate issues relevant to their social and spatial worldviews, to interact with local government and community resources, to develop research skills and to promote the development of spatial competence and confidence. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]