Kirk (2018) writes, by 2050 around 70 percent of people will be urbanites and the majority of them under 18. Young people and urban design may not seem to have any correlation, throughout history and still to this day many practitioners and designers will also shun away the idea of participating with or designing for this community.
During the time of growing up for young people, adolescence is a period during which these individuals experience physical, mental, and emotional changes (Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, n.d). Furthermore, it is not surprising that this correlates to adolescents becoming vulnerable and creating risks to themselves and their local contexts, this may lead to misunderstanding and the way people view young people. The vulnerability and risks are often balled up together in a way that society sees young people as the problem or the forthcoming so at the current time we can disregard them when planning or designing (Hardgrove, 2014).
Participating research has shown working with young people has revealed the behaviour of the community being in the problematic or an indicator of risk can actually indicate a rational and resilient response to risk on the part of the young person (Ungar, 2004: 341). Now government bodies and design groups have slowly started to incorporate principles and strategies to participate with young people. In the past, this had not been the case until pioneers and advocates like Kevin Lynch and his publication of ‘Growing up in Cities’ raises the issues on young people and urban design (Lynch, 1997).
Gill (2019: 33) writes that the leaders of municipal departments have received training in child participation, helping to support their methodologies and promoting re-use in their neighbourhoods of São Paulo. Driskell (2002: 23) states that everybody learns and grows through young people’s participation, it is that of a powerful vehicle for social transformation. Through participation, ‘community evaluation, planning, design and management, they are exposed to a wide range of people and ideas and develop new valuable skills’.
Now cities like Toronto, Berlin, and London have introduced many youth-friendly design strategies to cater to the needs of young people as current-day citizens, participating with young people and creating intergenerational neighbourhoods and cities for all communities. I will carry out further research on this topic within my design thesis.
Department for Communities and Social Inclusion, (n.d). Working with Vulnerable Youth – Key Concepts and Principles. p.3. Retrieved 21 March 2020 from: https://officeforyouth.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/15771/Working-with-Vulnerable-Youth.pdf
Driskell, D. (2002). Creating Better Cities with Children and Youth. London: Earthscan.
Gill, T. (2019). Cities Alive – Designing for Urban Childhoods. ARUP, Retrieved 15 April 2020 from: https://www.arup.com/perspectives/publications/research/section/cities-alive-designing-for-urban-childhoods
Hardgrove, A. (2014). What’s the Problem? Youth and Vulnerability in a Global Perspective. United Nations Development Programme, Retrieved 21 March 2020 from: http://hdr.undp.org/en/content/youth-and-vulnerability-global-perspective
Kirk, M. (2018). How to Design Cities for Children. CityLab, Retrieved 20 April 2020 from: https://www.citylab.com/design/2018/02/how-to-design-cities-for-children/552086/
Lynch, K. (1997). Growing Up in Cities. Cambridge, Ma: M.I.T. Press.
Ungar, M. (2004). A Constructionist Discourse on Resilience. Youth & Society, 35(3), pp.341-365
Uttke, A, Heinrich, AJ, Bentlin, F, Bobmback, S, Niemann, L, Shauz, T, Andreas, V & Edelhoff, S (2013), ‘Jugendbeteiligung im Praxistest’, Berlin, Dortmund, unpublished final report.
Feature image – Urban Design Directory. (u.d.). CIAM6 Cities-Reimagined [image] Available at: http://www.urbandesigndirectory.com/projects/ciam6-cities-reimagined
Fig. 1 – Uttke, A, Heinrich, AJ, Bentlin, F, Bobmback, S, Niemann, L, Shauz, T, Andreas, V & Edelhoff, S. (2013). Exemplary tasks [image]
Fig. 2 – Uttke, A, Heinrich, AJ, Bentlin, F, Bobmback, S, Niemann, L, Shauz, T, Andreas, V & Edelhoff, S. (2013). Workshop in Erfurt, Germany [image]
Fig. 3 – Fong, A. (2020) Creating youthful cities [image]