We make cities a thriving environment for adolescents

Healthy Cities for Adolescents (HCA) was launched in 2018 against the backdrop of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (adopted in 2015) and the New Urban Agenda (2016). The programme aligns most closely with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 3, 11 and 17:

In HCA, we prioritise adolescents in cities and their crucial role in sustainable urban development. We listen to and address these young people’s specific health and wellbeing concerns, recognising that they vary among different groups and stages of adolescence.

HCA also supports the active engagement of adolescents in the design and development of their cities, and in promoting sustainable urban development more widely.

HCA identifies, develops, funds and supports projects that align with this vision. Our definition of health and wellbeing is comprehensive, encompassing physical and mental health, as well as the social and economic factors that influence them. To ensure common understanding and effective measurement, we have adopted the conceptual framework for adolescent wellbeing of the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health as a guiding structure.

A healthy city for adolescents is a city where the health and wellbeing needs of adolescents are being listened to and addressed, and where adolescents – and young people in general – are actively involved in creating healthier, fairer and more sustainable urban environments for all.

HCA strategic positioning, June 2023

HCA’s ambition is to change the systems that contribute to ongoing challenges and inequalities in cities. From attitudes and relationships to structural factors − we want to catalyse lasting change.

To this end, our funded projects are carefully designed and delivered through collaborations with young people, local governments, civil society organisations and other relevant local stakeholders.

HCA Phase I
November 2018-April 2022

The first phase of HCA funded seven projects in five countries: Colombia, Ghana, India, Senegal and Vietnam. This phase served as an important testbed for Fondation Botnar’s ‘Evidence to Action’ framework.

Phase I also led to the creation of a new accountability tool for SDGs in partnership with UN Habitat. This inspired the Global DeclarACTION, presented at the World Urban Forum 2022.

HCA Phase II
May 2022-December 2026

HCA is now in its second phase. Phase II builds on the work of several Phase I projects and supports new projects across six countries – adding Ecuador to the original five.

Explore the projects we are funding.

Project partners receive more than just grant funding. Our Global Team includes a wide range of thematic experts and in-country advisors that provide ongoing operational and technical support, as well as capacity development.

Meet the Global HCA Team.

In Phase II we partner with local and global research institutions to strengthen the evidence and learning capability across the programme.