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Cities, apply to join the Streets for Kids program!

If you are looking to apply for the 2022 Leadership Accelerator, please click here.

Applications for Streets for Kids are now closed. We have received an overwhelming number of applications from around the world and are thrilled by the commitment to make streets safe and inspirational for kids. The recipients will be announced by late August 2019.

The National Association of City Transportation Officials’ Global Designing Cities Initiative (NACTO-GDCI) is currently accepting applications for cities interested in receiving technical assistance as part of its Streets for Kids (SfK) program.

From 2019 to 2021, NACTO-GDCI staff will travel to 12 selected cities. Four cities will receive training on designing child-friendly streets and additional technical assistance, including matching funds to support the implementation of child-friendly projects. In eight cities, staff will facilitate an in-depth training on designing child-friendly streets. In addition, local practitioners will be able to participate in an online learning series and receive technical advice from NACTO-GDCI staff.


Streets for Kids is a multi-year program to develop new technical guidance and advance street designs that create safe public spaces for kids of all ages and abilities to learn, play, and move around a city. The program is made possible thanks to generous support from the Bernard van Leer Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Fondation Botnar, and the FIA Foundation.

Through the Streets for Kids program, NACTO-GDCI is developing child-focused design guidance to inspire leaders, inform practitioners, and empower communities to consider the city from the eyes of a child. This new guidance supplements the Global Street Design Guide (GSDG), which was published in 2016 and set a new global standard for designing urban streets that prioritize pedestrians, cyclists, and transit riders.

The Streets for Kids guidance will capture international best practices in designing streets and public spaces that are safe and appealing to children from their earliest days. The supplement will highlight strategies, programs, and policies that cities around the world have used to design spaces that enable children to utilize cities’ most abundant public asset – streets. Finally, the guidance will highlight tactics for engaging children in the design process, an often-overlooked approach that can dramatically transform how streets are designed and used.

From 2019 to 2021, NACTO-GDCI will work directly with practitioners to reimagine and redesign their streets to support comfortable, healthy, and inspiring environments for all children. Using guidance and specifications from the Streets for Kids supplement, NACTO-GDCI will work directly with select international cities to design and implement demonstration projects.

The goals of the Streets for Kids program are to:

  • Catalyze the implementation of street designs that support sustainable mobility choices and advance the well-being of children and their caregivers
  • Provide child-focused design guidance
  • Build local capacity through trainings and give participants an expanded toolkit to create streets that are safe, enjoyable, and inspirational
  • Support demonstration projects that have the potential to inspire large-scale change

NACTO-GDCI will provide the following levels of technical assistance:


Eight cities selected for the training will receive a one- to two-day facilitated training from NACTO-GDCI staff in 2019 or 2020. Content will be tailored to the needs of participants but will focus on content from the GSDG and the new SfK supplement. As per the needs of the city, 30 to 60 local participants will be able to attend. These attendees will also be eligible to participate in future webinars (e-academy) to further develop their skills.

Each applicant that joins the Streets for Kids program must commit local staff time to participate in the program and coordinate with NACTO-GDCI staff. The applicant will be responsible for logistical support for the in-person training.


(Training, design review and consultation, project implementation support, and matching funds)

Four cities will receive, in addition to the training, more in-depth technical assistance and design support from NACTO-GDCI staff and matching funds for project implementation. These cities will receive three visits covering the following:

  1. First visit: Training on the GSDG and SfK publications (as described above). Identify a site and key challenges and develop a work plan.
  2. Second visit: Work with the local team to design a child-focused project to be implemented (temporary or permanent, depending on the city’s priorities). Support metrics collection and site documentation and provide input on conceptual designs and plans.
  3. Third visit: Work with local team to implement the project, collect metrics, and document the implemented project.

Each applicant that becomes part of the Streets for Kids program must commit local staff time to participate in the program and coordinate with NACTO-GDCI staff. The applicant will be responsible for regular communications, logistical support for in-person visits, and coordination for project implementation.

The projects must:

  • be ready to put in place within six to 12 months
  • meet the budget. NACTO-GDCI will provide matching funds for project implementation with an estimated value of maximum $20,000
  • have the potential to become permanent and scale to more locations in the future
  • be intended to inspire and educate city leaders and residents to improve the streets and support safe places to learn, play and grow

More information about NACTO-GDCI’s vision of safer, sustainable and healthy streets can be found here.


Government institutions, municipalities, mayor’s offices, city departments, nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations are encouraged to apply. Nonprofits and nongovernmental organizations must partner with local government or include a letter of approval, MOU, or endorsement from local government. Individuals or private sector organizations are not eligible to apply but can be listed as partners on the application.

Applicants applying for technical assistance must specify a city where project activities will take place and demonstrate a commitment from local officials to support project implementation. Further, these applicants must have a knowledge base of necessary permits, approvals, etc., needed to implement temporary or permanent streetscape projects.

Applications are open to all; however, cities in low and middle-income countries (as defined by World Bank) will be prioritized, and NACTO-GDCI will aim for geographic diversity among the 12 selected cities.


Please find a PDF of application questions for reference here.

Interested cities should submit an online application.

If you have questions about completing the application form, please refer to the list of Frequently Asked Questions or email us at [email protected].


Applications are due Tuesday, February 26, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. ET (New York City time).

Selected participants will be announced in August 2019.


In general, successful applications will demonstrate municipal leadership and community buy-in, a significant need to improve child road safety, the capacity to measure baseline and improved outcomes, and a commitment to engage children and the community in a meaningful way. Successful applicants will have:

  • Articulated the availability of the site(s) where short- or long-term interventions are feasible and achievable in a reasonable timeframe
  • Demonstrated buy-in from key local government officials and local organizations and potential to form long-term partnerships
  • Demonstrated capacity and leadership of local organizations and advocates
  • Shown long-term commitment through funding availability (e.g. contribute some funds)
  • Expressed interest in both physical infrastructure and policy changes

NACTO-GDCI may consider additional factors in the selection of successful applicants, including interviews with the finalists.

Upon selection, a brief letter of commitment is required from the mayor (if applicable) or legislative body (city council, board, department etc.). Other letters of support are encouraged, but not required, to demonstrate support for the project. These letters are requested within three weeks of selection.