WUF10:City planners urged to consider children in street designs

By Beatrice Obwocha

Urban planners should design streets that are safe for children to reduce traffic deaths and injuries.

FIA Foundation Executive Director Saul Billingsley said over 500 children die each day in road crashes around the world and these numbers can reduce if urban areas are made safe.

“Children of all ages should be able to learn, play, and move around their city safely, but this will only become a reality if urban planners place them at the heart of the decision-making process,” he said during the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Mr. Billingsley said street designs that consider the perspective and needs of children and their caregivers can go a long way toward improving overall safety and quality of life.

“We need to implement the ‘Speed Vaccine; which are sidewalks, safe crossings, maximum speed limit of 30kmph wherever possible through road design changes,” he said.

He announced that Streets for Kids program will be launched in April this year, to supplement the Global Street Design Guide. The child-focused guide, developed by NACTO-GDCI will help to inspire leaders, inform practitioners, and empower communities to consider the city from the eyes of a child.

He said: “Our young people are calling out for action on the issue which remains the leading killer from the ages of 5 to 29, and at every level of governance, their voices need to be heard and their needs must be acted upon.”