Building Child-Friendly Cities in China: Ensuring a Better Future for Children

Writer: admin Time:2023-07-13 21:47:39 Browse:77℃

   Introduction: China, as the world's most populous country, is also home to a significant number of children, ranking second globally. In recent years, there has been an increasing demand from the population for better living conditions related to child-rearing, education, and social welfare. Countless families aspire to provide their children with improved access to education, childcare, healthcare, and other public services.

  To foster healthy and prosperous futures for children and promote their well-being, the National Development and Reform Commission, along with 22 other departments, has formulated the "Guiding Opinions on Promoting Child-Friendly City Construction." As part of this initiative, the aim is to establish 100 pilot child-friendly cities by 2025. promoting the concept of child-friendliness across social policies, public services, rights protection, growth environments, and developmental conditions. By 2035. it is anticipated that over 50% of cities with populations exceeding one million will engage in child-friendly city construction, with around 100 cities being designated as national child-friendly cities. The child-friendly concept will become a prominent symbol of high-quality urban development, a societal consensus, and a conscious effort to provide children with a better life.

  Building Child-Friendly Cities: According to Wei Yifang from the Social Department of the China Macro-economic Research Institute, the "Guiding Opinions" prioritize the most immediate and pressing needs of children and their families. It emphasizes five key areas: inclusive childcare services, basic education, child healthcare, medical treatment and insurance, and cultural and sports services for children. The document outlines measures to promote public services that cater to the developmental needs of children and meet the demands of their families comprehensively. It encompasses different stages of a child's lifecycle, including the prenatal, infancy, early childhood, and adolescence phases. Furthermore, it adopts a holistic approach, covering various domains of public services for children, such as childcare, education, healthcare, and cultural and sports services. Notably, initiatives like "observing cities from a one-meter height" and creating micro-spaces within communities suitable for children's games and reading have garnered significant attention. These measures illustrate the development blueprint for child-friendly public service systems, providing guidance for high-quality public services oriented towards children and the construction of child-friendly cities.

  Leading Cities in Child-Friendly City Construction: Ou Xiaoli, the Director of the Social Development Department of the National Development and Reform Commission, revealed that the first batch of 100 child-friendly cities would be selected from cities with populations exceeding one million. The selection will prioritize cities that display strong reform intentions, possess a solid economic foundation, and demonstrate favorable conditions for construction. Ou Xiaoli emphasized the importance of tailored strategies and policies based on the diverse economic, social, and child-oriented conditions of different cities. To advance the construction of child-friendly cities, a systematic approach must be adopted, incorporating child-friendliness into the new urbanization process and the equalization of public services. This approach involves defining "hard standards" for child-friendly spaces and facilities in urban infrastructure and public buildings while enhancing the "soft standards" of service quality in education, healthcare, culture, sports, and other areas. Additionally, innovative public facility construction should prioritize the development of educational, recreational, sports, practical work, and technological experience facilities that provide children with enjoyable learning opportunities. Creating outdoor spaces that encourage a closer connection with nature and improving the child-friendliness of urban spaces and service facilities are also crucial. Furthermore, novel public service supply models should be explored, whereby social capital is encouraged to enter marketable areas while adhering to the non-profit positioning, contributing to the development and diversification of effective supply. The goal is to ensure that children can enjoy good services while making them affordable for parents.

  "In the process of construction, it is essential to fully leverage the role of local governments, emphasizing personalized exploration, differentiated construction paths, and models. Simultaneously, it is crucial to refine and summarize institutional constructions and standardize them as national-level arrangements to facilitate replication and promotion on a broader scale."

  Conclusion: China's ambitious endeavor to build child-friendly cities highlights the government's commitment to promoting the well-being and development of its children. By establishing 100 pilot cities and ultimately designating national child-friendly cities, China aims to provide an improved quality of life for children through enhanced public services, including education, healthcare, and recreational facilities. This initiative requires a tailored approach, considering the unique circumstances and requirements of each city. By integrating child-friendliness into urban planning and public service delivery, China aspires to create a society that recognizes the importance of prioritizing children's needs and ensuring a bright future for its youngest citizens.