ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.


ICLEI World Secretariat
Kaiser-Friedrich-Str. 7
53113 Bonn

ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability is a global network working with more than 2,500 local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development.

ICLEI Regional Secretariats and country offices

(S²City) Safe And Sound City Program

What we are doing

Young people in urban LMIC are facing new and unprecedented levels of safety risk. Urbanisation, migration, demographic shifts, climate change and decreasing economic stability in the wake of COVID19 are threatening young people’s safety in new ways. Globally, an estimated 1 of 2 children aged 2–17 suffer some form of violence yearly (WHO, 2020) with youth violence happening mostly in public spaces between acquaintances and strangers, often involving weapons. Young women and girls are particularly at risk, with most having experienced some form of violation, from harassment to rape to gender killings (UN Women, 2017). Insecurity in young people affects their access to education, future employment and leadership opportunities (WHO, 2020). COVID-19 has exacerbated inequalities and safety issues for children and young people in urban LMIC, e.g. through movement restrictions, loss of income, isolation, overcrowding, job losses. These challenges are exacerbated by 1.Weak capacities of local governments to address sustainable urban management and focus on young people as a target group 2. Underlying systemic factors of unsafe urban environments for young people and their future opportunities 3. Effects of the COVID-19 pandemic However, Cities in LMICs, often plagued by multiple competing priorities, have limited capabilities (understaffed, limited financial resources, information, corruption) to respond to urban challenges (rapid demographic urban growth, resolving the urban paradox of inequality and vulnerability vs privilege and access) and are thus unable to foster a sustainable urban growth that prioritizes young people’s safety.

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How we are tracking

M1 - Completion of youth safety survey challenge M2 - Engagement with 2 cities for prototyping M3 - 'Go, no-go' Completion of two prototype innovation incubator rounds. M4 - Consolidated stakeholder feedback. KPI1 - Development of a strategy and handbook for ethical youth participation KPI2 - Funding guidelines developed KPI3 - MEL framework and approach fully developed

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What we are achieving

We will create safer urban environments with and for young people, with the aim of ultimately impacting the personal, societal and environmental drivers that together promote wellbeing to achieve a two-fold impact: that the environment itself is safer for young people (objective) but also that young people themselves feel safer in their environments (subjective). Initially in 2 cities in 2 years then scaling up to 10 cities over 10 years, we will engage with city authorities, private sector and young people to understand the priority safety concerns and their predeterminants. Based on this, we will select tactical areas for intervention, and frame innovation challenges around them. We will do capacity building based on gap analysis to facilitate improvements and use these innovations as examples to generate larger changes in urban policy, practice and resource allocation. In parallel, we will convene a global learning network to trigger overflow changes in the global community.

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Fondation Botnar, Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB), Relational Wellbeing Collaborative Ltd, Swiss Philanthropy Foundation,

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ICLEI World Secretariat
European Secretariat
Leopoldring 3
79098 Freiburg, Germany
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Av. de Tervuren 35
1040 Bruxelles
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