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Arkki helps kids design smart and friendly Ho Chi Minh City

The project aims to bolster creativity and future skills among the participants, who include marginalised and vulnerable children from the city’s social protection centres and shelters.Credits: : ARKKI

Finnish-originated Arkki School of Architecture for Children and Youth is collaborating on a smart and child friendly Ho Chi Minh City project in Vietnam, together with UNICEF and local partners.

Arkki has helped implement a programme where more than 300 boys and girls from Ho Chi Minh City have designed smart and child-friendly concepts for their hometown to be showcased during the ongoing Ho Chi Minh City Week of Innovation, Startup & Entrepreneurship (WHISE 2018).

The participants, aged between eight and 14, formed 21 teams that took part in co-creation workshops facilitated by Arkki during the summer to develop their innovative concepts for the city.

“I find the programme a lot of fun,” says 11 year-old Hoang Mai Anh in Arkki’s press release. “The teachers are very cheerful and always ready to explain what I do not know. We have learnt different ways to build a child-friendly city from our own views.”

The top 10 most creative and practical concepts, as voted by urban planning experts, decision makers and the public, were presented at WHISE 2018 for a final judging competition.

“We have seen that children in Vietnam care about urban planning of Ho Chi Minh City,” says Pihla Meskanen, founder and director of Arkki International. “Although they said it was hard to solve existing problems in one week or even one year, they have proposed many interesting solutions, i.e. the city should have bicycle rent booth to encourage bicycle transportation inside the city and reduce air and noise pollution.”

In addition to Arkki and UNICEF, Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Architecture and Planning, and the Saigon Innovation Hub helped organise the project, which forms part of Ho Chi Minh City’s Child Friendly City Initiative Project (2017-2021).

Published on 19.10.2018