A good start for all children

URBAN95

If you could experience the city from 95cm —the height of a 3-year-old— what would you change? Urban95 asks this bold and simple question by helping city leadership, urban planners, architects, and other entrepreneurs. Urban95 is an initiative launched by the Bernard van Leer Foundation aimed at creating lasting changes in the environments and opportunities that shape the first five years, which is a greatly important period in a child’s life.

KENT95

Urban95 was developed based on the notion that economic development, and eventually, strong societies would be brought about when the neighbourhoods in the cities work better for women, babies and young children. Studies show that good health of parents also has a positive impact on young children. For instance, postpartum depression, which affects 13% of mothers worldwide and 20% of mothers in lower income countries, may affect the relations between the mother and child and make a lasting impact on the development of the child. Impoverished families not only suffer from meeting their fundamental needs, but also have less time, energy and intellectual space to spare for their children.Based on this, the Urban95 program takes as a whole the babies, families and the municipal governments who act as mediators that help them receive services.

WHY EARLY YEARS

BRAIN DEVELOPMENT

Babies start learning in their mother’s womb and establishing relations with their surroundings is w...

RETURN ON INVESTMENTS

From an economic perspective, this period also provides the highest returns on investment. According...

WHICH MATTERS MORE: GENETIC CODE OR THE POSTCODE?

As is the case with the rest of the world, a great majority of the population live in the cities in...

CHILDREN AND THE CITY

If we can make the cities more habitable for young children and their families, then we can make the...

CITIES

Implemented as a pilot in the Beyoğlu, Maltepe, Sultanbeyli and Sarıyer districts of İstanbul with the financial and technical support of the Bernard van Leer Foundation, the Urban95 program has also been carried out together with metropolitan municipalities since 2020.  The main objective of the efforts conducted under parental guidance, data-based decision-making, and public spaces and playgrounds is to scale out the services targeting young children and their parents with the help of public resources, help transform them into operations within the scope of local public policies, and make sure that different industries operate together. Within the scope of the Urban95 program, which has been implemented in four districts of İstanbul from 2016 to 2020, efforts have been undertaken to carry out home visit-based parental guidance, make the existing parks suitable for the 0-3-year-olds and their caregivers, and collect the existing municipal and other public services data and visualize them on maps.