Cities for Children strategy: A participative approach
In the past years, I have been developing a holistic concept and work programme titled "Our Children - Our Future", allowing for the consistent implementation of objectives and measures to adapt Stuttgart to the needs of children and their families.
Based on this experience, the City of Stuttgart in cooperation with the Robert Bosch Stiftung and cities and partners from 12 European countries developed a strategy programme in 2007 to launch a Network of European cities which pursues innovative and sustainable family policies.
The Network was officially launched during the European founding forum in Stuttgart on 25th and 26th June 2007, in which 60 European cities participated. EU-Commissioner Vladimír pidla and Ms. Heide Simonis, chair of UNICEF Germany, took over the patronship of the Founding Forum. Furthermore, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions and the Committee of the Regions support the Network as patrons.
Working group meetings are held in different European cities in Winter and Spring to discuss best practices and challenges in the fields of housing, youth participation, health, work-life balance, living together of old and young, road safety and education.
In 2008, the City of Stuttgart, the Network Cities for Children, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe and the Council of European Municipalities and Regions initiated the European Award of Excellence "City for Children". This Award is presented annually as a further incentive for cities to exchange initiatives and best practices in the field of child and family friendliness.
All European cities are warmly invited to join and actively cooperate in the Network with the aim of improving the living conditions of the children, youth and families in our cities.
I look forward to our future cooperation.