Voice

Opportunity

Power

A TOOLKIT TO INVOLVE YOUNG PEOPLE IN THE MAKING AND MANAGING OF THEIR NEIGHBOURHOODS.

Why engage young people?

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It is important that the places we build and manage provide opportunities for everyone in the community, including people of different backgrounds, abilities, and ages.

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But despite making up around 20% of the population, young people are routinely left out of discussions around the future of their neighbourhoods.

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The 2020 White Paper identifies young people as 'those who stand to gain from development’ but whose voice is ‘not heard loudly enough’.

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And, in many instances, young people’s right to participate under Article 12 of the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child is not being met.

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So, this is about doing planning properly and ensuring that everyone has a voice in the process.

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Creating active, healthy environments and building the habit of participation.

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Recognising that young people have a right to be involved and that their involvement creates better places for everyone.

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Click here to read an essay advocating for youth participation in planning, regeneration, and neighbourhood management.

WHAT IS THIS TOOLKIT AND WHO IS IT FOR?

This is a free resource with practical guidance on how to involve young people (11-18) in the way that places get built and managed. It is for professionals (not young people themselves): developers, designers, planners and sports providers. It is designed to improve participation in – and the quality of – new development and regeneration.

Who For Big

When to use it?

The 5 toolkit sessions are intended to work within a typical RIBA design programme, starting at stage 1 and running up to a planning submission in stage 3.

Altogether there are 8 RIBA stages, which provide a consistent framework for architects to break up the building design process.

The developer or design team who will be involved from the start, should ensure that the sessions correspond with the relevant RIBA stages and fit within their project programme.

RIBA Stage 0

Strategic definition: outlining the project scope, objectives and programme

RIBA Stage 1

Preparation and briefing: drafting an initial brief in line with the objectives

Session 1: Your lived experience
Session 2: Show us your neighbourhood
Session 3: Tell us what you want
RIBA Stage 2

Concept design: initial proposal and specification

Session 4: Tell us how we are doing
RIBA Stage 3

Developed design: progressed proposal following consultation

Session 5: You said, we did

Planning submission

RIBA Stage 4-7

Includes technical design, construction, handover and ongoing maintenance

WHAT WILL THIS TOOLKIT HELP YOU DO?

  • Involve young people in the early stages of the process
  • Allow them to have a strategic influence on the brief and design
  • Make that influence relevant and appropriate to the needs of young people
  • Deliver a physical intervention or improvement early on (a meanwhile project)
  • Demonstrate to young people, the development team and the community at large that young people have had a meaningful impact on what is proposed

what are we aiming for?

We want to normalise an understanding of how to involve young people in the development and management of places.

We are aiming to move away from a tick box model, which leaves young people feeling the conversation was tokenistic (if it happened at all), to one that focuses on their lives and is much more universal in its approach and outcomes.

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Young people

Peripheral

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Central

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Conversation

‘What do you want?’

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Understanding lived experience

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Focus

Place-based provision

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Strategic and detailed public realm

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Engagement

One-off and reactive to design proposals

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An ongoing conversation from the early stages through to final proposals and ongoing management

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Interaction

Light-touch

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Embedded

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Design

Exclusive

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Democratic and inclusive

The reality is that if you engage young people meaningfully you will create a better, healthier and more active place.

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