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Chongqing Strives to Build a Child-friendly City

By RAN ZHENGICHONGQING|May 09,2022

Chongqing- Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality issued its implementation plan to create a child-friendly city involving its economic and social development planning.

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, a child-friendly city is a city, town, community, or any system of local governance committed to improving the lives of children within their jurisdiction by realizing their rights as articulated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. In practice, it is a city, town, or community in which children’s voices, needs, priorities, and rights are an integral part of public policies, programs, and decisions.

The central government issued guidance on building child-friendly cities in 2021. It pointed out that, by 2025, China will build a hundred pilot child-friendly cities. 

On April 29, 2022, many children played in the Jiulongtan Square of Jiulongpo District.

On April 29, 2022, many children played in the Jiulongtan Square of Jiulongpo District. The Jiulongpo Section has established several landmark public spaces, including the Children Paradise, Jiulongtan Square, and an imitating scroll of the Ten Thousand Miles of the Yangtze River. (iChongqing file photo)

Top-level design

“The plan has specified that we should consolidate the preferential of children in the development and facilitate society to give play to the principle of child-friendly through top-level design,” said a competent official of Chongqing Development and Reform Commission.

Therefore, Chongqing will inject child-friendly into the economy and society’s development. The government will promote “viewing the city at the height of one meter” for children. It embodies the child-friendly concept in urban construction and space programming planning.

“To build a child-friendly city, we should ask for children’s opinions instead of suggesting ideas by adults,” said the official. Thus, the city’s development requires the broad participation of children through unimpeded channels and soliciting children’s and their guardian’s opinions in advance on significant issues. 

Public service

The plan proposed that, by 2025, each district and county of Chongqing build one demonstrative guidance center for infant cultivation and care; the admission rate of preschool education should reach at least 93%; public kindergartens should account for 55% of all the kindergartens in the city.

Regarding healthcare, Chongqing will launch a program focused on child nutrition. It aims to strengthen the screening, diagnosing, and intervention for risk factors during children’s growth, including myopia, nutrition imbalance, hypodontia, and abnormal development of cognitive behaviors. 

As of 2025, Chongqing will control the mortality rate of infants below 3.5%. Besides, the vaccination rate of school-age children in each town/township/sub-district should reach at least 95%.

Concerning rural stay-at-home children, Chongqing will improve their caring and protection system, and the primary responsibility of family guardianship is bound to be enhanced.

Transformation of urban public spaces

Urban space is one of the requisite hardware to practice child-friendly concepts.

According to the document, Chongqing will formulate guidelines and standard systems to construct child-friendly public spaces of blocks, communities, streets, parks, public libraries, sports venues, hospitals, and schools. In addition, Chongqing will build baby care rooms, child-customized toilets and bathroom sinks, children’s recreation areas, and other child-friendly infrastructures in prominent public places.

To ensure the safe travel of children, Chongqing will also improve infrastructures like urban care zebra crossings, safe walkways, slow-traffic systems, and bus stops by enacting guidelines.

Furthermore, Chongqing will optimize children’s reading environment by constructing self-service libraries or reading rooms in newly built residential communities. Beyond that, Chongqing plans to open up many children’s natural education bases in city parks, community parks, and natural parks.

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