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Photo: UN-Habitat/Isaac Muasa

Fondation Botnar and UN-Habitat launch the #FutureCitiesChallenge

Fondation Botnar

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Fondation Botnar and UN-Habitat launch the #FutureCitiesChallenge – Call for young people to re-imagine their city

17 September 2020 – COVID-19 has brought to light some of the challenges our rapidly growing cities face, as urban areas have suffered most as a result of the pandemic. The pandemic has led to an urgent need to rethink how our cities are created, and a critical part of that means involving citizen voices, including those of young people.

As the virus has spread, countries have been forced to temporarily shut down schools, impacting 91% of students worldwide. At least one-third of these, or 450 million, will not be able to access remote learning. It’s more important than ever to give opportunities to young people to engage with topics that are important to them, and have a say in how our cities look, after the pandemic.  

Today, Fondation Botnar and UN-Habitat are launching a joint campaign and inviting children and young people to learn more about the cities we live in. We are asking those between the ages of 10 – 24 years old to use their creativity and imagine their future cities to have the chance to win USD 1000 worth in credits to take online courses. The challenge is called #FutureCitiesChallenge, find out more information at

“At Fondation Botnar, we believe it is crucial for children and young people to have platforms to have conversations that matter to them. We also believe that creativity can be an essential tool to share ideas and spark interesting discussions. We are excited to partner with UN-Habitat to listen and learn from young people about their future aspirations for their cities.”

– Stefan Germann, CEO at Fondation Botnar

“Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to be won or lost in cities, and it will be young men and women who will be leading the charge through their innovation and drive. The pandemic has made it much harder to achieve the goals, yet UN-Habitat and Fondation Botnar have hope for our common future by engaging young people’s innovative spirit and know-how through initiatives like the Future Cities Challenge.“

– Raf Tuts, Director of UN-Habitat’s Global Solutions Division

The Future Cities Challenge is one example of how Fondation Botnar seeks to give opportunities to young people to engage in important conversations and contribute to shaping the cities they live in. Fondation Botnar also supports and co-creates other initiatives such as the OurCity initiative and the Healthy Cities for Adolescents program – both aiming to create healthier and happier cities for young people.

Photo: UN-Habitat/Isaac Muasa


The Future Cities Challenge

The Future Cities Challenge is a joint UN-Habitat and Fondation Botnar campaign which is all about children and young people in cities. We invite young people and children to have conversations about their future cities and encourage them to be creative to express their wants and needs in cities. Read more:  


UN-Habitat is the United Nations agency mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. Read more: and follow UN-Habitat on Twitter here

Fondation Botnar

Fondation Botnar is a Swiss-based foundation that champions the use of AI and digital technology to improve the health and wellbeing of young people in growing urban environments. To achieve this, the foundation supports research, catalyses diverse partners, and invests in scalable solutions around the world. Read more: and follow Fondation Botnar on Twitter here.

The Future Now.
For Young People

Fondation Botnar
St. Alban-Vorstadt 56
4052 Basel
+41 61 201 04 74