The Salzburg Global program The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play is part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum, a series held in partnership with the IUCN and Huffington Foundation. The session is being supported by Parks Canada and Korea National Park. It is being sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/574 - You can follow all the discussions on Twitter by following the hashtag #SGSparks
Salzburg Global Fellows have called on leaders to ensure all children enjoy the right to safe, free play in a nature-rich space within a 10-minute walk from home.
The call to action was included in a Salzburg Statement published as a result of discussions at Session 574 - The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play.
It was the third session of the Parks for the Planet Forum, which was supported by Parks Canada and Korea National Park. The Forum is held in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It advances work to implement the Promise of Sydney and the Sustainable Development Goals.
During a five-day program held in March, 52 experts in urban planning, childhood development, conservation, environmental policy, and health considered how green spaces could better meet the needs, and be accessible for, children.
Participants asked themselves what the benefits of these spaces were and how they could be maximized. They considered the implications for urban planning, design and management if the needs of the child were placed at the center.
On the final day of the program, participants agreed a small working group would build on the ideas shared by producing a statement outlining a shared set of principles and recommendations.
The Salzburg Statement on The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play recommends several policies, practices and investments. It also contains eight actions which can transform cities for children.
These eight actions are:
- Ensure children of all ages, backgrounds, income, and abilities have equitable access to nature and play regularly and in meaningful ways to promote good health and wellbeing.
- Embed nature in everyday places used by children, such as schools, backyards, parks, playgrounds and city streets, to make the city into a natural outdoor classroom.
- Involve children in designing and planning natural spaces for recreation, education, inspiration and health, to give them ownership and pride in their local communities, schools and parks
- Build curiosity, wonder, and care for nature in children (for example by greening school grounds and involving children with community gardens).
- Protect natural features across cityscapes and create an equitably distributed network of accessible green and nature-rich spaces that all generations can reach on foot.
- Connect cities with the broader ecosystems in which they are embedded, creating corridors for people, plants and animals to move safely across the city and into its surroundings.
- Establish more urban conservation areas to increase access to nature and connect cities to the broader protected area network
- Work together through cross sectoral and multi-level partnerships to build an inclusive culture of health in cities.
View the Salzburg Statement on the Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play here.
Download it here.