Response to the demands of the city’s children

During a meeting with a group representing children between the ages of 10 and 12 in Barcelona, the Mayor offered a response to the demands of children to improve the city and childhood welfare.

20/11/2018 20:03 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The Mayor, Ada Colau, rounded off the meeting ‘Childhood and adolescence in Barcelona: present and future’ by explaining the measures taken by the City Council in response to concerns voiced by city children between the ages of 10 and 12 when they were putting together the Children’s Agenda.

The agenda is the result of work started at the end of 2016 as part of the programme ‘Children speak: the subjective wellbeing of childhood in Barcelona’, aimed at gauging and improving child wellbeing.

The Mayor outlined the different actions taken in response to the eleven concerns expressed by the city’s children.

  1. More family time
    The process to democratise care work has led to the creation of social superblocks, family spaces and shared upbringing. The new labour agreement by the City Council is also worth mentioning as it makes it easier for workers to make work and family life more compatible.
  2. Less time studying and more free time to play
    Thirty-nine play areas have been renovated, making them more inclusive and accessible, and in 2019 two more areas will be jointly created with school pupils in the surrounding area, in the Parc de la Pegaso and the Parc Central de Nou Barris.In addition, in the district of Horta-Guinardó signs saying ‘No ball games’ have been replaced with others saying ‘Children play respecting others’.
  1. More security and support if they have problems
    The last three years have seen improvements to street lighting in 200 streets. Night buses also stop on request if this offers greater safety for people returning home late at night. The neighbourhood police have also been created, offering greater security for everyone in the local area, including children. The number of listening and support points offering emotional support for children and young people has also been increased.
  2. To be taken seriously
    The creation of the Guide for the participation of young children in municipal projects and services also means children’s input will be greater when it comes to projects which affect them.
  3. More freedom and more confidence
    The number of pupil-friendly school paths now totals 90, enabling more students to get to and from school on their own. Space for cars in the city’s streets has also been reduced and the Open Playgrounds programme has been strengthened.
  4. Everyone to have what they need
    The 0-16 grant has been created, providing 100 euros a month for families with limited resources to cover their children’s basic needs. The number of school dinner subsidies has also risen by 38%, with 27,000 children now benefitting.
    The number of children benefitting from subsidies for sports activities and summer camps has also risen by 65%.
  5. Be involved in school decisions to change ways of learning
    A new way of networking between schools is being introduced in the city.
  6. Preventing and combatting school bullying
    Social educators have been taken on at 39 schools to detect bullying and the City Police are also running a specific workshop on this issue in schools.
    A work group has also been set up to prevent sexual abuse and spaces where children are in contact with adults are being reviewed to prevent any possible risks. A school campaign is also being conducted about the risks in some types of relationships and against sexist and LGBTI harassment.
  7. Healthy habits, body image and self-esteem
    A map of sports facilities has almost been completed to identify where there is a shortfall in the city, and the Espai Konsulta’m mental health facility for children and young people has been opened.
  8. More community life and local interaction
    Four superblocks have been created in different neighbourhoods of the city to create more space for games, more greenery and less noise.
  9. A greener city
    Barcelona has got 44 hectares of new green space and in 2019 the ‘Barcelona respira’ programme gets under way to improve air quality around the city’s schools. The Escoles Refugi programme is also in operation to combat heat in playgrounds and classrooms.

Children’s speech

With a view to the next Santa Eulàlia winter festival, 887 pupils from 19 schools have already been tasked with working together and producing proposals on participation.

This year the children taking part will be reflecting on the right to participate and the recognition of their rights as full citizens. The idea is to encourage them to be aware of their importance as stakeholders in the construction of a friendly and welcoming city.


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