Children design smarter, child-friendly city hinh anh 1Children talk about their ideas for a smarter and more child-friendly city (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA)
- More than 270 children aged 8 to 14 are taking part in a summer programme to design a “smarter and more child-friendly” city.

The programme called “Children Innovate: a Smart and Child-friendly City” kicked off on June 8.

It was organised by UNICEF Vietnam in collaboration with the Saigon Innovation Hub (SiHub) under the city’s Department of Science and Technology, Department of Planning and Architecture, and Arkki - School of Architecture for Children and Youth in Finland.

“The programme creates an environment for children to express their opinions about decisions that may affect them,” said Marianne Oehlers, chief of programme partnerships office at UNICEF Vietnam.

It consists of 11 creative thinking workshops during this summer for children, including vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

Each workshop lasts for five days with a daily schedule from 9am to 4pm. There will be three hands-on working sessions during each day.

Participants will use clay, wood, computers, Sketch up and Microsoft Hololens to express their ideas.

Nguyen Phi Van, chairwoman of Saigon Innovation Hub’s Board of Advisors, said: “Our aim is to provide kids with human-centered design thinking, important skills for the 21st century, and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) knowledge.”

Twenty-five children took part in the first workshop, she said.

"I find the program a lot of fun. We have learned many ways to build a child-friendly city based on our own views,” said Hoang Mai Anh, 11, from Tran Van On Secondary School in District 1, who attended the first workshop.

All the ideas and projects will be displayed at an exhibition during Creativity and Innovation Week in October to urban planning experts, decision-makers and the public.

The best ideas and projects will receive awards from the organisation.

The programme is part of the city’s Child Friendly City Initiative Project that runs from 2017 to 2021. -VNA