News May 3, 2022

Congratulations to GDCI’s First Cohort of Streets for Kids Leadership Accelerator Cities!

Improving the lives of children doesn’t start with projects; it starts with people. In March 2022, GDCI announced its call for applications for the first-ever Streets for Kids Leadership Accelerator—an initiative aiming to create a global cohort of city leaders and professionals in order to hone their knowledge, network, and skills to create change for kids in their cities.

The Leadership Accelerator will bring together 60 changemakers from 20 global cities to participate in an eight-month virtual professional leadership program, followed by implementation grants and technical support for up to ten child-focused street projects worldwide. 

As part of the application process, cities assembled interdisciplinary teams of three representing a combination of leaders from local governments, non-profit institutions, educators, and other organizations supporting the needs of children in cities. We were thrilled to receive over 90 applications from six continents around the globe demonstrating the global interest and need for this work.   

Today, we are proud to congratulate the 20 cities comprising the 2022-2023 Streets for Kids Leadership Accelerator cohort!

The selected cities are:

  1. Tirana, Albania
  2. Melbourne, Australia
  3. Recife, Brazil
  4. Santiago, Chile
  5. Bogotá, Colombia
  6. Cuenca, Ecuador
  7. Quito Ecuador
  8. Tbilisi, Georgia
  9. Thrissur, India
  10. Solo, Indonesia
  11. Bologna, Italy
  12. Prishtina, Kosovo
  13. Tyre, Lebanon
  14. Leon, Mexico
  15. Lima, Peru
  16. Kisumu City, Kenya
  17. Abuja, Nigeria
  18. Istanbul, Turkey
  19. Los Angeles, CA, USA
  20. Lusaka, Zambia




These selected cities represent six continents whose population ranges from approximately 50,000 people to over 10 million. Participants — which include Mayors, city staff, educators, and local advocates—will connect through monthly meetings, share opportunities and challenges in their cities, hear from guest speakers, and learn technical skills for creating better streets for kids worldwide. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to apply to grant funding for implementation projects in 2023. 

“We are thrilled to be working with such a diverse cohort of cities across the globe who share a common goal of designing streets to improve the lives of children, said Skye Duncan, Executive Director of GDCI. “We believe these 60 changemakers from 20 global cities will learn from one another, share their successes, and adapt global best practices from the Designing Streets for Kids guidance to deliver meaningful and lasting change in their communities.” 


In facilitating this program, GDCI will combine its extensive experience working with international cities, street design transformations, and global expert networks to share industry best practices and encourage group peer learning with the goal of improving lives for kids and their caregivers. 


Learn more about the Streets for Kids Program


Use the controls in the green box to learn more about the participants in the Leadership Accelerator. For example, you can use the dropdown menu to learn about their professional backgrounds, or click on the graph icon and sort them by population size.

More Updates

My Way to School: Making kids’ journeys to school in Santiago, Chile, safer and more enjoyable

January 23, 2023

My Way to School: Making kids’ journeys to school in Santiago, Chile, safer and more enjoyable

In 2019, the GDCI team selected the capital city of Santiago, Chile, as a Streets for Kids Technical Assistance project. Together with Ciudad Emergente, a Chilean nonprofit, we selected Enrique Soro street as the project site. The project’s main objectives were to establish safe intersections, extend sidewalks, and reduce speeds.

Quito: A Cycling Success Story

December 14, 2022

Quito: A Cycling Success Story

The Global Designing Cities Initiative is committed to reimagining streets as places for people, shaping cities that are healthy, accessible, and equitable for everyone. We also recognize cycling as a safe, efficient, and sustainable mode of transportation. Despite the lack of safe cycling infrastructure that hinders many would-be cyclists around the world from relying on their bikes, there are a number of cities that have made significant progress in recent years. Committed to making its streets more cycle-friendly, Quito, Ecuador, has implemented large-scale, successful cycling infrastructure projects that make it a cycling success story.

Sixty leaders, twenty cities, one focus: How to make better streets for kids

December 1, 2022

Sixty leaders, twenty cities, one focus: How to make better streets for kids

GDCI’s first-ever Streets for Kids Leadership Accelerator welcomed 60 professionals from 20 cities around the world, all working at the intersection of children’s wellbeing and transportation. This competitively selected group came together for twelve online sessions over a six months period for an intensive course in street design best practices. Perhaps most importantly, this was a unique opportunity for them to share ideas, questions, and strategies with each other. Here’s a look back at what went into this program.