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Planning with Youth

Planning with youth: a tool and a framework for an engaging, meaningful and forward-looking participation of youngsters in shaping attractive and sustainable living environments

Planning with youth logo

In a rapidly changing society definitions of social and environmental sustainability need to accommodate for diversity of preferences and values across age groups. Yet, young people’s preferences, and their positioning, in relation to the social and environmental sustainability aspects of the design and use of blue-green infrastructure across living environments do not feature very prominently in spatial planning. Whilst ideas about inclusivity and diversity are recognized, and the figure of the child, and/or young person, is present in spatial planning, there is a knowledge gap about how different participatory tools and methods allow for meaningful engagement of young people in spatial planning. The performative potential of different methods and tools is not well researched, so planners might struggle in setting up participatory processes which are fair, transparent and meaningful across age groups. This is an important matter. Research finds a trend for youngsters spending more time indoors which impacts their physical and mental health in the short and long term (World Health Organization, 2010).

This research project will study different participatory methods and tools and will explore their potential for the involvement of young people in the context of participatory spatial planning. We will study the potential and applicative value of serious games, multimodal interaction, creative paper crafting, and other approaches.

We will develop recommendations, and a framework, for the engagement of youth in valuations about how to integrate blue-green infrastructure for more sustainable and attractive public space.

Project blog site:



FORMAS – the Swedish Research Council for Sustainable Development