School of Architecture, Planning & Landscape

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Commonwealth Youth Manifesto

BA Architecture student, Sasha Swannell, has been working with the Commonwealth Association of Architects (CAA) on the production of a Youth Manifesto.  The Manifesto, launched at the Commonwealth Youth Form in April 2018 (part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting), was written in collaboration with young planners from the Commonwealth Association of Planners (CPP), and has been endorsed by both the RIBA and RTPI.  The Manifesto focuses on calling for the governments of the Commonwealth to take a renewed approach to urbanism and sustainability, to help deliver the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal 11.

Speaking of the experience Sasha noted:

“At the moment it is predicted that by 2050 over 65% of people will be living in cities. The fact is, the future of these urban environments lie in the hands of up and coming architects and planners. As a result, The Commonwealth Association of Architects sent out a call to young urbanists across the world to get their thoughts on the future of sustainable urban development. The responses were very positive and myself alongside a group of young professionals compiled such ideas into what we called the Commonwealth Youth Manifesto. With the intention of launching at the Commonwealth Head’s of Government Meeting in London, we saw the manifesto as a platform for voices of the youth from across the Commonwealth to be heard. It was endorsed by RIBA, RTPI and following its launch we’ve been contacted and supported by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Our manifesto gained far more attention than we could have imagined and the feedback has been most positive. 

What has been most exciting to see is that young planners and experts are actively rising to the challenges that face our cities and urban environments going forward. With a passionate group of young urbanists coming to the fore across the world sustainable development has exciting prospects. But whilst the manifesto has established the framework, what is key now, is to work with nations and organisations across the world to start putting it into practice. 

It has been an absolute pleasure to be involved as an author of the Youth Manifesto and I look forward to seeing where we can take it. 

Well done Sasha! 

For further details please visit & 

The Manifesto can be viewed here 

Twitter interview (requires Chrome)



published on: 15 May 2018