It has been announced that the city of Odense in Denmark will host the 7th Child in the City International Conference and Trade Show at the University of Southern Denmark from 29 September – 1 October 2014.
The European Network for Child Friendly Cities (ENCFC), which organises the bi-annual event, says the conference “will disseminate good practice, share experiences, test new ideas and explore new approaches to developing towns and cities that are the best possible places for children and young people to live, play, learn and grow”.
The three broad themes for the 2014 conference will be participation, inclusion and cooperation; child wellbeing and the impacts of recession; and, following on from the UN’s General Comment earlier this year, play, mobility and children’s culture.
The host city, Odense is a strong supporter of the Child Friendly City movement having adopted in 2009 its own vision for a city where “to play is to live”. The city council has a programme of policies with a strong focus on creating urban environments that invite and support children to use public space to play and learn within inclusive and welcoming settings.
Odense’s vision is typified by its most recent initiative: an exciting Play Route along the Odense River through the City Centre (see separate item below). The route is the first of its kind in the world, and the city authorities intend for it to be a very public demonstration that “to play is to live”, making the concept of the playable public realm a reality not just for city dwellers but for visitors and tourists too.
The department of the University of Southern Denmark that will physically host the conference is the Institute of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics (ISSCB), which specialises in play research.
More information about the Child in the City Conference, including a call for papers, can be found here