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If you could see the city from an elevation of 95 centimetres – the average height of a healthy 3-year-old  – what would you do differently? How would you organise neighbourhoods, public space, parks, transportation, healthcare, childcare, parent support groups and other early childhood services? What else would you change or improve in the city?


The Urban95 Challenge invited creative ideas and projects which promote the well-being of young children in cities from the prenatal period up to the age of 5. The winning projects include innovations in:


Green public space: Transforming existing physical spaces into places for young children to play and explore nature, and for their caregivers to meet and rest.


Mobility for families: Making it possible for caregivers and young children to walk and cycle to healthcare, childcare, a safe place to play and a place to get fresh food.


Data-driven decision-making: Collecting neighbourhood-level data on young children and caregivers and using it to better target resources and facilitate coordination across sectors.


Parent coaching: Combining coaching on early childhood development for parents and other caregivers with services that meet families’ basic needs.


Civic engagement: Enabling families of young children to participate in urban planning and design decisions.


Childcare management: Working on management and regulation of childcare to improve quality and affordability.




The Challenge received 151 ideas from 41 countries, with an average budget of EUR 15,000. Of these, 26 projects were chosen to receive funding (8 in Latin America).


The selection process included a review by expert reviewers:

  • Darell Hammond, Senior advisor Urban95, Bernard van Leer Foundation

  • Margaret Mwonjoria Ng’ayu, lecturer, Department of Urban and Regional Planning of the University of Nairobi

  • Douglas Ragan, Chief of Youth and Livelihoods Unit, UN-Habitat


In the below map you can see all the winning projects:

(more info here)



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