Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Urban Research

Youth Participation in Planning: Strategies for Social Action

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Urban Research

Youth Participation in Planning: Strategies for Social Action

Article excerpt


Pendant que la planification et les professions de developpement de communaute reconnaissent de plus en plus l'importance de participation efficace comme une piece critique dans les issues planifiant prosperes, il y a eu la tres petite investigation dans le participatory approche pris avec la jeunesse. Les jeunes gens ont tendance etre marginalise de la planification de procedes et limite dans leur capacite pour affecter decision faire. Assurer cette jeunesse a des occasions pour l'engagement dans le developpement de communaute sont une responsabilite majeure pour les fabricants de politique et les dirigeants de communaute. Egalement comme important est la reconnaissance que les jeunes gens activement sont deja engages dans le travail de communaute et que leurs activites ont besoin d'etre estime et legitimized dans la plus grande societe. L'utilisation d'une approche d'etude de cas pour documenter les perspectives de participants de jeunesse, ces profils de papier structures confessionnelles que demontre l'engagement significatif de jeunesse dans le Continent plus bas de Colombie Britannique, le Canada. Developpe par la jeunesse, dans le partenariat avec les adultes qui soutient et travaille avec eux dans leurs tentatives, ces structures redefinissent des pratiques de procede de groupe et de participation de citoyen. Comme la jeunesse engage proactively dans les questions d'importance a les et a la societe civile, leur travail a beaucoup a offrir les champs de theorie critique et de pratique planifiant.

Mots cles: L'engagement de jeunesse; la planification de participatory; le developpement de communaute; le comportement confessionnel

Penny Gurstein, School of Community and Regional Planning University of British Columbia

Chris Lovato, Department of Health Care & Epidemiology University of British Columbia

Sally Ross, UBC Child and Family Project University of British Columbia


While the planning and community development professions are increasingly recognizing the importance of effective participation as a critical component in successful planning outcomes, there has been very little investigation into the participatory approaches taken with youth. Young people tend to be marginalized from planning processes and limited in their ability to affect decision-making. Ensuring that youth have opportunities for involvement in community development is a major responsibility for policy makers and community leaders. Equally as important is the recognition that young people are already actively engaged in community work and that their activities need to be valued and legitimized in the larger society. Using a case study approach to document the perspectives of youth participants, this paper profiles organizational structures that demonstrate the meaningful engagement of youth in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada. Developed by youth, in partnership with adults who support and work with them in their endeavours, these structures are redefining practices of group process and citizen participation. As youth engage proactively in issues of importance to them and civil society, their work has much to offer the fields of critical theory and planning practice.

Keywords: Youth engagement; participatory planning; community development; organizational behaviour


In the twenty-first century, the most appropriate responses to societal problems will likely emerge from entirely new and innovative forms of organizing adopted locally, regionally and globally. Citizen participation is an essential component of exploring new alternatives. The involvement of a diverse spectrum of interest groups will be needed to consolidate pioneering and creative problem solving approaches. In garnering the support and engagement of community stakeholders in the planning realm, we cannot afford to disenfranchise youth, our newest leadership, for the challenges we now face. …

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