A new approach to designing for early childhood in vulnerable urban contexts
This publication presents the challenges and opportunities confronting early childhood development in vulnerable urban contexts, derived from specialised research by Arup and the Bernard van Leer Foundation.
The data is clear: vulnerable urban areas such as refugee and informal settlements house a growing population in critical need, and the number and size of these areas will only increase in the coming decades. While the specifics of these vulnerable areas vary, they consistently pose major challenges for children’s optimal development. Living in these contexts has particularly significant negative impacts on young children aged 0 to 5.
The Proximity of Care approach was developed to better understand the needs and constraints faced by young children, their caregivers, and pregnant women in informal and refugee settlements; and to ultimately help improve their living conditions and well-being. It is at the core of the Design Guide that we are jointly developing to support government authorities, urban practitioners, development and humanitarian organisations operating in informal and refugee settlements to profile their work as child and family friendly.