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Blueprints for Hope: Engaging children as critical actors in urban place making

Summary

Intentionally including students in design processes creates more meaningful community spaces.

Green schoolyard design offers an occasion to include many different perspectives — including students’. Grounded in over a decade of educational research, the Y-PLAN (Youth-Plan-Learn-Act, Now!) methodology is a well-defined, yet flexible process that builds capacity of young people to contribute their own data and insight to the planning and policymaking process. Further, civic leaders are empowered to prioritize and use young people’s ideas from to create better plans, policies and places. Elementary school students in San Francisco contributed their ideas to community redevelopment efforts using Y-PLAN. This article details that process, including examples of kids’ ideas and how they were incorporated into the new community design.

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SOURCES

Deborah McKoy, Shirl Buss, Jessie Stewart

The Center for Cities + Schools at University of California - Berkeley

PUBLICATION DATE

2014

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