About the series

This two-part webinar series, based on the release of Access and Babies Toddlers and Their Caregivers report co-created by ITDP and the Bernard van Leer Foundation, explores issues around mobility and access for young children and people who care for them, often the most vulnerable group in cities. The Access for All series looks at conditions of access, helping diverse urban groups meet their unique needs. 

About the webinar

How cities are built, including their infrastructure, mobility systems, land uses, and the quality of the environment, affects the well-being of babies, toddlers and caregivers. The early years of childhood, from birth to age five, lays the foundation for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.  Creating better urban environments for babies and toddlers is important for their development and their lifelong well-being.

Presenters discuss the realities of access in cities for babies, toddlers, and caregivers before exploring  how we can improve that through the 15-minute neighborhoods framework, showcasing best practices and tools from selected cities.

Download the Access and Babies, Toddlers, and Their Caregivers report >>



About the Moderator

Ankita Chachra Knowledge for Policy Director – Bernard van Leer Foundation

Ankita joined the Bernard Van Leer Foundation as the Knowledge for Policy Director to extract, curate, and disseminate knowledge to scale-up early childhood and Urban95 initiatives. Before joining the Foundation in September 2020, Ankita worked at NACTO’s Global Designing Cities Initiative (GDCI), where she addressed street and public space challenges. 

She found her passion for prioritizing the needs of children and caregivers in urban environments while leading the Streets for Kids programme, which published the guide on Designing Streets for Kids. She was also part of the core team that developed the Global Street Design Guide – the first-ever worldwide guideline for designing city streets – and led road safety projects under Bloomberg’s Initiative for Global Road Safety, primarily in Latin American and Asian cities.

Ankita has a Masters in Urban Design from Columbia University, New York and a Bachelor’s Degree in Architecture from the Sushant School of Art and Architecture. 


About the Speakers

Aimee Gauthier Chief Knowledge Officer

Aimée manages ITDP’s global initiatives, international policy program, leadership and innovation program, and global research and projects. She is responsible for the organization-wide implementation and alignment of programs and practices through effective communication, monitoring, and evaluation. Aimée is also instrumental to ITDP’s international advocacy, raising support for sustainable transportation and urban development from major international agencies, governments, and key stakeholders and decision makers around the world. This role is complemented by her involvement in our MOBILIZE program and Sustainable Transportation Awards… View more >

Iwona Alfred Knowledge and Education Manager, ITDP Global

Iwona (she/her/hers pronouns) is a Program Manager in the Global team responsible for content management and production of training materials, best practices and visual content for ITDP’s capacity building program. In her role, she oversees knowledge sharing across ITDP country offices and brings her technical expertise to different programs, helping identify strategies and new ways of cross collaborating. Iwona joined ITDP in 2014 to work within the Sustainable Urban Development program, assisting with the release of the TOD Standard, a core guidance publication laying out foundational principles of sustainable urban development. 

She has a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Pratt Institute and a dual bachelor’s degree in Education and Geography from Hunter College. She enjoys a variety of interdisciplinary fields utilizing her passion for science and media.

Santiago Fernández Reyes Urban Development and Research Manager, ITDP Mexico

Santiago joined ITDP Mexico in 2018 as Urban Development Coordinator, where he supervises the office´s Transit Oriented Development strategy.  He holds a BA and an MSc in Economics from ITAM, and a Masters in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His areas of interest are urban mobility systems and coordinated land use and transportation planning. He has collaborated with institutions related to transportation infrastructure, like the Department of Metropolitan Public Transport, in Santiago de Chile, and the World Resources Institute in Mumbai, India. Before joining ITDP, Santiago worked as a consultant for the Samuel Tak Lee Real Estate Entrepreneurship Lab at MIT.

Anuela Ristani Deputy Mayor of Tirana

Anuela Ristani is the Deputy Mayor of Tirana in charge of International Affairs and Sustainable Development. She joined the City 2015 as Chief of Staff to the Mayor, Erion Veliaj and was appointed Deputy after he was re-elected in 2019. During her work for the city she has overseen the Green City Action Plan, the Tirana Child Friendly agenda and the Resilience and Sustainability strategies. Prior to joining local government she established the National Youth Service where she also co-founded RYCO – Regional Youth Cooperation Office with the participation of the six Western Balkan Countries. Ms. Ristani joined public service from more than a decade of experience with multinational corporations and International Organizations where she served as a Marketing and Communications expert. Anuela holds an MBA from both Trulaske College of Business and Columbia School of Journalism at MU, and a BA from the American University in Bulgaria. Outside work she writes on sustainable economies, lectures on international marketing and global affairs and is the mother of two young children.


Sign up for updates on our projects, events and publications.