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Belfast Healthy Cities

Our vision is that Belfast is recognised globally
as a healthy, equitable and sustainable city

Healthy Cities 21st Century

A Call to Action: Shaping Healthier Places for Children in Belfast

Responses from the consultation have been collated and will be used to underpin agreement of actions. A joint workshop of the Regeneration and Healthy Environments (R&HUE) and the Child Friendly Places (CFP) working groups took place in September. It identified priorities and a process for agreeing the final action plan, which is scheduled to be published in March 2016.

View A Call to Action: Shaping Healthier Places for Children in Belfast

View the consultation leaflet


The consultation period ended on Friday 26 June 2015. Please contact Laura McDonald for further information.

Key messages

‘A good place for children is a good place for everyone.’

This Call to Action is based on comprehensive engagement with children and calls on stakeholders in Belfast to respond to the issues identified by the children

What is Place?

Place comprises of the environment in which we live, shop, work, learn and play; the people that inhabit these spaces and the quality of the life that comes from the interaction of people and their surroundings. It means our cities, our towns and our neighbourhoods, and includes buildings; public space and landscape.

Why is Place important for children’s health?

Because place has a significant impact on our health and wellbeing. Successful places give children a sense of belonging, a sense of identity and a sense of community. 

Positive places can be the critical factor in determining whether children’s lifestyles are active and healthy. Supportive places enable children to walk or cycle to school, play outdoors, mix with people of different ages and incomes, and observe nature.  

Young children spend most of their time in their local surroundings and their development is more affected by the environment in which they live compared to older children.  

Not everyone enjoys equal access to a good quality environment. There is a clear link between place, health inequalities and health outcomes. 

Poor quality surroundings can have a negative impact on children’s health.   Place, if properly designed and managed, is an asset which can create the conditions for children’s health to flourish.

Does Child Friendly Place have a role in Belfast?

Yes! Almost one in five people in Belfast are aged 13 or under.

Engaging with children is essential - it allows children to shape their neighbourhoods and encourages them to be active and participate in decision making processes as adults.

Our vision is defined by local children. It is a Belfast where quality places positively benefit children’s health, and enrich their lives through increased human connectedness with access to good quality green space, safe streets and places for children to play outdoors. 

The public sector has a key role in delivering good places for children.  A mapping exercise undertaken with a range of voluntary and public sector organisations in Belfast identified limited action or programmes on children and place.  
This Call to Action seeks to begin a conversation about creating good quality child friendly places in neighbourhoods across the city.

The purpose of this consultation process is to:
• identify stakeholders’ perspective on child friendly places
• respond to the issues raised by children and
• identify organisations who can take action to create good quality child friendly places

What happens next?

Following consultation, the next step will be to develop a strategic approach. This will include an action plan aimed at responding to both the children’s priorities and key issues identified during the consultation process.

The consultation document along with consultation questions can be completed online

Alternatively, a paper copy may be requested from Belfast Healthy Cities Office. Individual meetings can also be arranged to explore perspectives and actions that organisations are interested in contributing to.

The consultation period ended on Friday 26 June 2015. Please contact Laura McDonald for further information.