Today, 31 October 2020, we are celebrating World Cities Day, with this year’s theme of ‘valuing our communities and cities’. Did you know that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas and there will be more young people growing up in cities than ever before? At Fondation Botnar, we believe there is an urgent need to ensure that cities are both safe and healthy environments. We are proud to share some of our commitments and achievements in contributing to this.
Young people-centred cities transformed with technology
We believe that only by bringing together key players, including young people, to foster meaningful collaboration, can we transform cities into healthy and safe urban environments where children and young people can thrive. Learn more about our approach, and watch the animation below.
This year, we continued collaboration on the OurCity initiative, which is our long term investment to cities around the world. The initiative collaborates with young people, civil society, policymakers, innovators, and other city champions to nurture wellbeing and opportunity for all. Watch our animation to learn more.
In March this year we travelled to Cluj-Napoca în România, which is one of the first cities where we launched the initiative, to work with partners and get prepared for the roll out of the initiative. The aim was to better understand the innovation ecosystem in the city to gather perspectives on the branding and communications priorities as relevant to the local ecosystem. Our colleague Zur Oren, shared his reflections in this blog.
Challenging young people to re-imagine their future cities…
In September, in collaboration with UN-Habitat, we launched the Future Cities Challenge to encourage young people to shape the future of their cities. We challenged young people to have their voices heard and are proud to have had a great response from countries all over the world. Today we will officially announce the winners. See the winners announcement video below and read more about it here.
Participating in the World Urban Forum to deliver safe and healthy cities…
In February, Fondation Botnar team together with partners and urban youth advocates from our the world participated in the largest international gathering for exchanging views and experiences on urban opportunities and challenges – the 10th World Urban Forum (WUF). Read more here, and watch the wrap-up video.
At WUF, we also gathered thoughts around in which areas technology can have the greatest impact in delivering safe and healthy cities. These thoughts are reflected in our Tech For Cities Map, which is still open for input. Why not share your thoughts?
Finally, you can read our CEO Stefan Germann reflect on the importance of youth and technology for city transformation here.
Beyond World Cities Day 2020…
These are some of the highlights of how we have worked to improve the lives of young people growing up in cities. We will continue this work during the rest of 2020 and the years to come and look forward to sharing our lessons along the way.