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The City of Ghent’s strategic plan to be a child and youth-friendly city

With more than 250.000 inhabitants, Ghent is the 3rd largest city of Belgium. In 2013, the newly elected city council announced its commitment to become the most child and youth-friendly city (CYFC) of the Flemish region: an ambition that was a key, integral policy goal within the municipality’s mission statement and overall strategic plan. This was a bold political choice, all the more remarkable, given the context of budgetary constraints and confusion about the future of local youth policy at the level of the regional Flemish government.

Becoming a CYFC requires much more than attractive new playgrounds: it implies coordinated commitments and action in each of the domains that impact on children and young people’s lives: education, mobility, spatial planning, social care, health and wellbeing, environment, culture and sports, as well as the more obvious youth and play services. A genuine CYFC will bear down on child poverty, youth unemployment and be committed to accessible, affordable high quality childcare. Read more>

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