Harness the energy of youth: Young Placechangers
You can hear all about what they did in Alyth in the video above - practical steps like creating locally made benches with shelter and lighting, working with local businesses, which would be good for all ages. And the young folk who led the project learned lots of skills about how to work together, meet other folk in the community and make things happen.
I feel really proud that something we came up with is actually going to happen, and will be on show in the centre of town for people to see - and use.— Caitlin, Alyth Young Placechanger
In Dunfermline, young people used the original Scottish Town Centre Toolkit (published 2015) and Place Standard to audit existing green spaces in and around the town centre (the public parks and smaller green spaces along the High Street and East Port) and propose a series of improvements. These included better walking routes through green spaces, more greenery in the town centre like planters, and public art and music in the parks.
Some ‘quick wins’ were identified to do straightaway including pedestrian signage, an arts trail and a temporary stage – all of which were delivered within a few months.
It’s helped our guys realise that they have a voice, and by using it they are able to bring change to the area where they live – their opinions matter, and by seeing their ideas come to fruition, it helps to prove to them that their opinions matter.— Dunfermline youth worker
The young people really enjoyed realising that they have a voice and can bring about change in their town, particularly because the project resulted in real change on the ground within months.
There’s more information about how the young people and their facilitators went about it in this case study.
Greenspace Scotland has produced two great toolkits to inspire young people to take the lead in their local community and make change happen:
- Young Placechangers Toolkit is a fun toolkit enabling young people to learn new skills about how to evaluate places, map their community and influence local decision making. It includes examples of icebreakers, place activities, further reading and information.
- This Must Be Our Place Toolkit contains simple engaging activities for young people to explore and take ownership of places through creative investigations, interventions and actions.