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S²Cities (Safe & Sound Cities Programme)
Enabling liveable and sustainable city systems

Improving young people’s safety and wellbeing in urban environments

The S²Cities Programme, led by the Global Infrastructure Basel (GIB) Foundation , catalyses urban innovation by supporting young people to address local safety and wellbeing challenges in their cities. The programme fosters youth-led initiatives designed to transform neglected public spaces, conserve the environment, provide mental health services, and more.

S²Cities  is operating in six cities; Envigado in Colombia, Bandung in Indonesia, Cuenca and Ambato in Ecuador, and Baguio and Naga (Camarines Sur) in the Philippines.

We are proud to support the S²Cities Programme as it makes a meaningful impact in the lives of young people across the world.

Within the next 30 years, as much as 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, with an increasing number of young people growing up in cities. The safety and inclusivity of urban environments and public spaces impacts the wellbeing of all residents.

For young people to truly feel safe, they must be included as critical parts of urban development problem-solving and decision-making processes . Therefore, S2Cities aims to:  

  • Support young people and cities to better understand local safety challenges, through better monitoring, measurement, data and direct engagement with youth voices and local government.
  • Strengthen local capacities to improve urban safety by providing skills training, mentoring support, technical expertise and access to networks that enable meaningful engagement and empowerment of young people.
  • Engage young people and cities in co-creative innovation processes that lead to youth ideas being put into action, and include young people as key decision-makers when it comes to their safety.
  • Use these engagement activities to positively influence inclusive decision-making and the preconditions of system change that affect safety for young people in urban environments.
  • Colombia
  • Indonesia
  • Ecuador
  • Philippines

Youth-led urban transformation

In Bandung, the “Di Bawah Jembatan Youth Community” exemplifies the programme’s success in supporting a youth-led initiative aimed at revitalising public spaces to be more inviting and safe for young people and community. This transformation was achieved through strategic placemaking, which involved event hosting, community engagement, infrastructure rehabilitation, and collaboration with local government and the private sector. This initiative has since secured legal recognition as a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) “Kami Ruang Ketiga” (the Third Space) and is expanding its efforts to improve and revitalise more public areas

To date, S²Cities has catalysed over 20 impactful initiatives led by young people. These initiatives aim to enhance young people’s access to and enjoyment of public spaces. By promoting stronger social interactions and fostering vibrant community life, these initiatives break down prejudices, interrupt cycles of violence, foster  economic participation, and enhance green spaces, all contributing to urban safety and wellbeing. 

Over 4100 young people have been engaged in the programme.


“I have felt left behind by the adults in the city but thanks to the programme I feel involved and connected to my city. We share the initiatives from young people from other cities and what changes we are willing to make.“ 

Young Person (anonymous)
The Future Now.
For Young People

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