URBAN LABORATORY UNITES THOSE WHO CARE ABOUT YOUNG PEOPLE’S LIFE IN THE CITY, ACCESS TO THE PREMISES, INVOLVEMENT IN DECISION-MAKING AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN PLANNING
- Research and development of methodology. Finnish project partner recommendations of youth involvement in the planning of the neighbourhood are available here.
- Contact lessons. Young people’s participation in sustainable urban planning in the spring began with theoretical and practical lessons at Sarkandaugava 28th high school. Knowledgeable industry professionals – media expert Rolands Laķis, Sarkandaugava activist Alija Turlaja, architect Gunita Kuļikovska, city planner Jānis Ķīnasts and environmental activist Ilze Jēče – worked together with 8th and 10th grade students to develop ideas for improving the neighbourhood.
- The opening event. Urban intervention” on April 29, 2016 – open and a read more, look at the pictures and video!
- Partner meeting in Belarus.
- “Green manual for youth space” draft.
- Work session in Belarus.
- Stage construction at Aldara Park on July 22 – Intervention #2.
- Neighbourhood discovery in summer Intrusion #3 – Orientation and puzzle game in Sarkandaugava and Kundzinsala on August 25.
- The urban festival on September 24 at Aldara Park.
- “Green manual for youth space” completion – international urban training for young people on September 24-25.
- Opening event and dissemination of results.
“City Laboratory” was created within the framework of the project “Green manual for youth space”. It will offer methods for youth involvement in neighbourhood research, planning and decision making, as well as promote a multidisciplinary approach to working with young people. Project is implemented by “homo ecos:”, together with “Sarkandaugava Development Association”, “Minsk bicycle Society” (Belarus) and “Demos Helsinki” (Finland). Although the majority of the project activities will take place in Sarkandaugava, young people of other neighborhoods are also welcome to the summer events in Sarkandaugava and brainstorming on the project Facebook page @Pilsētas laboratorija.
The project «Green manual for youth space” activities are co-financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers Office. Certain activities are implemented within the framework of the Project „Participatory Laboratory» by Rīga City Council’s Education, Culture and Sports Department Society integration program.
The city offers us countless opportunities and social, economic and environmental diversity – theatres, cinemas, skate parks, areas for schools, streets and harbours, squares, parks and beaches. However, to provide our daily needs, desires and the city functioning, cities have become major consumers of natural and energy resources, as well as producers of waste. Consequently, the cities are increasingly affected by climate change. Rising sea levels, increasing rainfall, inland flooding, more frequent and stronger storms, as well as extreme heat or cold periods are just some of the natural conditions that the growing number of city inhabitants will encounter. Similarly, these factors have a negative impact on urban infrastructure and hamper access to basic utilities, and generally deteriorate the quality of life in urban areas.
According to UN sources, the city is one of the causes of climate change. Although they occupy only 2% of land areas, the cities consume 78% of global energy resources and generate more than 60% of the total carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.
In spite of the above-mentioned threats, many cities have not yet addressed the climate change problem. However, it must be remembered that sound and efficient urban and infrastructure planning can reduce carbon emissions, improve living conditions in the city and increase the use of public open space. Good governance, initiative and practical support for local authorities are the main steps in the implementation of initiatives to combat climate change. However, changes in the city will not happen if we do not start them ourselves – each in our own yards, districts or neighbourhoods.
It is very important to encourage various groups to apply their knowledge and engage in decision-making, as well as to work to put their lives on a more sustainable track. Urban young people are the future, so it is important to involve young people in shaping the environment, which is open to alternative ideas and sustainable solutions.