The City of Boulder is partnering with UNICEF USA and Growing Up Boulder to work towards formal recognition as a UNICEF Child Friendly City. The goal of the Child Friendly Cities Initiative (CFCI) is to identify and prioritize action steps and mobilize the community to improve young people’s health and well-being. In Boulder, this work will be co-designed with young people, including historically underrepresented children and youth.
Youth engagement and participation has been at the core of Growing Up Boulder’s work for the past 13 years while the city’s Youth Opportunities Advisory Board (YOAB) involves teens voices in city planning. The structural support from the UNICEF CFCI Framework for Action complements this already existing work. Specifically, it brings city departments together to align efforts and deepen relationships with populations that experience structural and systemic inequities. Becoming an official UNICEF Child Friendly City would allow Boulder to be formally recognized for its work and elevate its impact to the next level.
A city's commitment to children doesn't end once it is recognized as a UNICEF Child Friendly City; instead, it continues to build upon the action plans that were created through the process to advance young people's well-being.
“I am so excited to start this work with such amazing partners,” City Manager Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde said. “So much of what we do as a city impacts young people, both now and as they grow into adulthood. There is tremendous power in hearing from them and ensuring we are meeting their needs.”
To kick off this bold first step towards being a Child Friendly City, the City of Boulder, UNICEF USA and Growing Up Boulder will announce their formal partnership at Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art (BMoCA) Día del Niño celebration on Saturday, April 29 at 11a.m. at the Boulder Civic Area Park’s Glen Huntington Bandshell (13th & Canyon). Now in its 12th year, this fun event invites the community to participate in family-friendly, multicultural festivities including art-making, live music and dance performance featuring local artists. The launch will include a few remarks by city and partner organization officials.
As a next step, the city will establish a task force of partner organizations and young people committed to the wellbeing of children and youth in Boulder. This group will advise on the process, inform an analysis of current and desired conditions, and help develop a citywide Youth Action Plan. More information will be posted to the project website this Spring.
Developing the plan is expected to take about 18 months. The implementation phase that follows will be funded at least in part by approximately $2 million the city has been allocated from the sale of the Broncos stadium. The money must be used to support youth activities. Following one year of successful implementation efforts, the city will receive formal recognition from UNICEF USA and undergo an independent evaluation to become an official UNICEF Child Friendly City. For more information about Child Friendly Cities Initiative in the Unites States, visit www.unicefusa.org/mission/usa/childfriendlycities.
To learn more about Boulder’s CFCI, visit the city website at: UNICEF Child Friendly Cities Initiative | City of Boulder (bouldercolorado.gov). You can sign up to receive milestone reports and learn about opportunities for involvement. Members of the city’s Youth Opportunities Advisory Board, who will be key partners in this effort, created a launch video. You can watch it here.
Making our community a place where children and youth thrive will take all of us!