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Its not just something we play!


November 20, 2022, Aalborg will celebrate its new title as a UNICEF - Child-Friendly City. The initiative is the result of a 3-year collaboration between Aalborg Municipality and UNICEF Denmark.

“Child-friendly City Initiative is about creating a good life for children and adults. It's about democratic education and a way of thinking and acting. With this initiative, we want to increase children's well-being by showing them how important they are. Children must know their rights. Not just for their own sake, but for the sake of the community.” Says Rikke Hartmann, School Consultant and Project Manager for the Child-Friendly City activities in Aalborg Municipality.

Being a ‘child-friendly city’ is an honorary title maintained by the continued work on actions and implementation of initiatives regarding child involvement and children's rights.

Under the headline “It's not just something we play” Rikke Hartmann is touring around the city to promote the initiative, follow up on the ongoing projects and make sure schools and other institutions have access to the right material.

“A democratic upbringing is something you bring into your adulthood. We are investing in the children now. Both for their present and our common future.”

“Aalborg did not become a Child-friendly City because it was considered unfriendly before. We are already very good at looking after each other's rights and involving children and young people. Fortunately! But we wanted to become a UNICEF- Child-Friendly City because we have the potential to be even better. To achieve this, we must dare to listen to all the children and young people.”

Head of Foreign Direct Investments at Invest in Aalborg, Catharina Vinther Engqvist has taken a special interest in this project and she believes it has great importance when it comes to attracting foreign investments and international attention.

“These years Aalborg is attracting a lot of attention from all around the world. Some are interested in our infrastructure and skills within energy. Some are looking towards the world-class university, but more and more are looking at the combination between these facts and softer values, like culture, art, happiness, and the 'good' family life."

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Rikke Hartmann, School Consultant and Project Manager for the Child-Friendly City activities in Aalborg Municipality

“When customers come knocking on our doors, we are not just talking about economics, square feet and supply chain. We are talking workforce, work-life balance and human beings“ 
- Head of FDI at Invest in Aalborg, Catharina Vinther Engqvist

“When customers come knocking on our doors, we are not just talking about economics, square feet and supply chain. We are talking workforce, work-life balance and human beings“

Catharina has long been advocating “soft values” as an approach to reaching the right partners for the city.

“In some rankings, Denmark is mentioned as the “best place in the world to raise your children”. This might be my favourite ranking of all and even though it's a national recognition, we are proving the point in Aalborg, when we take action in initiatives like the UNICEF-Child Friendly City” Project.“

“When you take a look at what's going on in the world not everything is moving towards progress concerning human rights and democracy. Something that we might take for granted in our part of the world, is an unreachable luxury in other places. Therefore we need to enhance the focus on our small inheritors. We need to make democracy and everything it entitles a bigger part of the school curriculum. And this focus is actually something that resonates with the companies and potential investors we are talking to.

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Head of Foreign Direct Investments at Invest in Aalborg, Catharina Vinther Engqvist

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In Denmark, Aalborg is joining Billund as the only representatives in the Child-Friendly City Initiative and it shows the priorities of the participating cities.

“When we go out into the world, this new title is something that we bring with us when we talk to investors. It's an important focus, and it's something that might give us a competitive edge in some investment circles“

“Having this UNICEF label is also something that can help us attract more people to live and work in Aalborg. A happy family is a top priority for many employees and showing that the city cares for the youngest might also influence the residing company's ability to attract employees. At the end of the day, the companies will only choose Aalborg if they can find the right people.”

UNICEF Child Friendly City Initiative - Signature video


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Aalborg chose the 20 of November as the day of celebrating this new title because the UN Convention on the rights of the child was approved on November 20th, 1989. Every year this day marks a celebration of children's rights all over the world. It is also celebrated as UNICEF World Children’s Day.

Meet Catharina Vinter Engqvist

Head of Foreign Direct Investments, Invest in Aalborg

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Catharina and the team at Invest in Aalborg are your one-point-of contact to the City of Aalborg. We can help you with information, facts and network that make all the difference when you consider Aalborg as your business destination.

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