Little boxes: changing perceptions and including young people in socially sustainable participatory planning

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Edward, Peter
Grant-Smith, Deanna
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Associate Professor Paul Magin

Date
2011
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283389 bytes

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Perth, Western Australia

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Abstract

In recent years, a great deal has been written about the benefits and ethics of including young people in participative decision-making. This has been accompanied by a burgeoning interest in including their views in participatory planning exercises that has not always been realised in practice. Drawing on a detailed analysis of the perceptions of adults and young people involved in a participatory planning exercise on Australia's Gold Coast, we believe that there are two major hurdles to the 'full' engagement of young people that are in some respects two sides of the same coin: the sometimes paternalistic perceptions and often dismissive attitude that many adults have towards the participation of young people; and the perceptions that young people may have of themselves and their subordinate place in an adult-dominated planning environment. Together, such views act to place limitations on the participation of young people because they set up unrealistic expectations for both adult and younger participants in terms of how and why young people participate, and what this participation should 'look and feel' like. In this paper, through the metaphor of boxes, we propose a number of issues that should be addressed when involving young people in participatory planning processes to ensure the most from their participation for all involved.

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World Planning Schools Congress 2011: Planning in an era of uncertainty and transformation

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© 2011 ANZAPS. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the conference's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Urban and Regional Planning not elsewhere classified

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