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Undercover placemakers: transforming the roles of young people in planning

Lookup NU author(s): Teresa Strachan


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A young person's identity as a product of their relationship with place has been the subject of research across many disciplines. In the field of urban planning, engagement with the community and young people, in particular, is acknowledged as being desirable, but in reality their contribution remains largely undervalued or undiscovered. Drawing on Lefebvre's production of space this paper explores how young people's perception of the places in which they live is shaped by a combination of their day-to-day experiences, their memories and their aspirations. The outputs of a research project at Newcastle University show how young people readily comprehend their local environments and how they nurture strong visions for the future of these places. The paper suggests that despite this wealth of place knowledge among young people and their capacity for envisioning the future, there are few opportunities for them to share this expertise or to voice their opinion on the future of those places. Through the development and use of suitable youth engagement methods, facilitated by urban planning students, the ‘YES Planning’ project has demonstrated how young people might begin to use their previously hidden placemaking capabilities.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Strachan TJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Urban Design and Planning

Year: 2018

Volume: 171

Issue: 1

Pages: 5-12

Print publication date: 01/02/2018

Online publication date: 13/03/2017

Acceptance date: 15/02/2017

ISSN (print): 1755-0793

ISSN (electronic): 1755-0807

Publisher: ICE Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/jurdp.16.00024


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