Youth friendly cities and the demographic renewal of the periphery…

Justification for objective selection

Rapid urbanization, diversity of cities, the new urban agenda’s requirement to take into account the needs of all residents, regardless of age, highlight the contribution of cities to the development and prosperity of their inhabitants throughout their lives. Age-friendly cities are a key element to economic and social development, and the role that young people can play in building viable cities can turn urban-related challenges into opportunities for economic progress and quality of life. The UN-Habitat program has already highlighted the role of children and young people in urban development strategies, giving emphasis, among other things, to social prevention and urban planning, stressing the positive role of young people being indispensable “resources” for the viability of cities and not “problems” that need to be addressed.

In this context, the physical and social planning of cities has an impact on the health and development of children and young people. Their housing, the quality of the water, the air they breathe, street safety and safety at the spaces they spend most of their time (schools, neighborhoods, public free spaces) have direct consequences for their lives. Thus, we should consider their needs and priorities in urban development strategies in accordance with Articles 3 and 12 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UN Special Session on Children of May 2002.

The results of the 7th Youth Forum of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on “The role of youth in building sustainable and resilient urban and rural communities” include:

  • The need to include the youth at all policy levels and in all processes that affect them.
  • Encouraging pioneering and youthful initiatives to protect the environment, ecosystems and biodiversity, to increase eco-efficiency and sustainable consumption, reduce pollution and minimize waste.
  • Intensifying efforts to make societies resilient, both in urban and rural areas, by promoting young people’s participation, representation and commitment to local governance. City management authorities must keep pace with and work with youth to achieve a peaceful, resilient and sustainable future for the planet.
  • Supporting innovative businesses, models and methods for sustainable energy tools that exploit the expertise of local youth in rural areas and ensure the resilience of cities.
  • Financial tools and coordination of resources from all sources – public, private, as well as from charities – to promote direct investment in priority issues affecting young people.

Similarly, at the 9th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9), the Children and Youth Meeting (CYA) underlines the importance of involving young people: (a) in encouraging and generating intergenerational dialogue with a view to promoting sustainable urban development; (b) in the development (planning, implementation, monitoring and review) of urban policies; (c) in strengthening urban governance; (d) in protecting the urban environment and (e) in promoting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Sub-objective 7.1: Public space friendly to children and young people.
Sub-objective 7.2: Improve young people’s access to safe, accessible and affordable transport systems that serve their needs in the context of sustainable urban mobility.
Sub-objective 7.3: Raise awareness and participation of young people in the sustainable management and conservation of natural resources.
Sub-objective 7.4: Facilitate access for all young people to administrative services and information.

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