Global Urban Research Unit


Engaging Young People in the Town Planning Process

The YES Planning project is now in its third academic year. It has been partially funded through the University’s Central Engagement unit and through teaching time afforded by the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape (APL) Linked Research Project (TCP8025). The project has also been supported throughout by the School’s Engagement Committee.

YES Planning has four distinct aims, to:

The project has evolved through research undertaken by final year MPlan/ Diploma students and follows a Participatory Action Research model where the research question/ direction is shaped by the project’s participants themselves. One previously unplanned output of the project is a significant amount of data surrounding young people’s perceptions of their neighbourhoods, revealing the close attachment that they have for their immediate environment as well as their sensitivity to how other members of the community experience place.

During the current academic year, students have devised and trialled activities that help a dialogue to begin around what makes a place a ‘good’ place and what makes a ‘safe’ place. The activities will be brought together into a toolkit which we hope will be helpful to young people, town planners, developers and teachers.  In creating a framework that helps this dialogue to begin, the toolkit will then also help to generate valid responses and data that can be used by decision makers in planning for that area.

The toolkit has been trialled with young people in North Tyneside and Newcastle secondary schools, as well as with the National Youth Council. This year YES Planning has also been offered to students from other cohorts who may wish to volunteer to support its engagement activities, complementing their University modules. The project’s final report and toolkit was written up in mid May 2015.