Do you have an idea to improve the lives of young children in cities? How would you organise neighbourhoods, public space, green areas, housing, services and transportation? What else would you change or improve? The Bernard van Leer Foundation will invest in promising small projects that benefit young children in cities from the prenatal period up to the age of five. Applications are open to all organisations and individuals, from any country.
Advance the wellbeing of young children in cities
As part of its new strategy, the Bernard van Leer Foundation has launched an initiative called Urban95. Urban95 asks a simple question: if you could see the city from an elevation of 95 centimetres – the average height of a healthy 3-year-old child – what would you do differently? How would you organise neighbourhoods, public space, green areas, housing, and transportation? What else would you change or improve in the city?
About the Bernard van Leer Foundation
The Bernard van Leer Foundation’s mission is to improve opportunities for young children growing up in circumstances of social and economic disadvantage. You can find further information about the Foundation on our website.
Who is eligible to participate?
The Urban95 Challenge is open to creative ideas and projects which promote the wellbeing of young children in cities from the prenatal period up to the age of five.
We are looking for projects in three areas:
- Influence: projects that find innovative ways to get city officials and community leaders to think more deeply and creatively about the needs of children under five and their parents;
- Design innovations: projects that make changes in a city’s built environment and, as a result,
have a positive impact on children under five and their parents;
- Performance monitoring: projects that collect data or use existing data to monitor how the city is performing from a young child’s point of view.
What kind of projects could be funded?
We are looking to fund projects that take a practical approach and show concrete results. With that in mind, please note the following guidance:
- Projects need to benefit pregnant women and/or children under five and their parents;
- Quick-impact, short-term projects are preferred – we accept proposals for a maximum of one year;
- We strongly encourage applications for amounts ranging between USD 5,000 and 10,000. A proposal’s budget should not exceed USD 30,000;
- We strongly encourage proposals for projects implemented by local residents of cities;
- We strongly encourage the participation of parents and children in the design of projects.
We would love to hear from you!
We will consider applications from anyone – government, businesses, local organisations, groups and individuals – from any country. If you are interested in applying to the Urban 95 Challenge, please download the Application Form, fill it in, and send it to Urban95Challenge@bvleerf.nl by September 16, 2016. Proposals will be assessed on an ongoing basis and we strongly encourage early submission. Questions about proposals or their assessment may also be sent to the email address above, if not covered on the FAQ on the website.
Next steps in the Urban95 Challenge
The selection process involves two stages. First, promising concepts will be selected and applicants will be informed on an ongoing basis. Candidates whose proposals are selected will receive feedback and will be invited to submit a full application. In the application process we will assess:
- The vision and scope of the proposal;
- Ability and capacity to realise the vision;
- Alignment of the project with the Urban95 strategy;
- The initiative’s environment and institutional support;
- The project’s ability to address multiple areas of child development (e.g. health, nutrition, safety,
- The potential of the idea – if successful – to be implemented at scale.
The Bernard van Leer Foundation may publish promising concepts or projects as we receive them as an example for potential candidates.
TitleUrban95 Challenge: Designing Cities That Support Healthy Child Development
TypeCompetition Announcement (Built Projects & Masterplans)
Submission DeadlineSeptember 16, 2016 12:00 AM