On February 10, 2017 the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development held a seminar and workshop “Urban Youth”, which was attended by municipal youth organizers, urban planning and development department staff, representatives of youth organizations, education specialists and representatives of the media.
The opening statement on the manual “Green Manual For Youth Space” was given by Alija Turlaja, the head of “Sarkandaugavas attīstības biedrība” (“Sarkandaugavas Development Association”). The manual is designed to encourage both the young people as and the experts working with them or creating the urban environment, to take the initiative and cooperate with each other. The study shows that young people are very pessimistic in assessing their opportunities to participate in political decision-making right now – 68% of young people feel they have little or no chance in that. Hence the importance of building cooperation enhancing environment in which young people can thrive and become intermediaries for future urban development.
In the second part of the event, led by social anthropologist and urban researcher Viesturs Celmiņš, the manual was approved for use with young people in local municipalities, public organizations and schools. The workshop participants were given the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences of youth work in order to use them in the future. Viesturs Celmiņš explained: “Different cultures, ages, beliefs and values coexist in the urban environment. Therefore, the process of planning the urban improvement equally applies to both our physical and cultural space. The seminar will talk about building a friendly and accessible urban environment, taking into account our cultural differences.”
The event concluded with matchmaking, so that participants can continue to build a partnership that focuses on youth involvement in political processes at national and regional level.
During the event VARAM (The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development) spokeswoman Laura Cunska-Āboma will provide information on the partnership project “The URBACT program of urban development – current competition and opportunities for working with young audiences.”
Seminar and workshop (photos).
The event will take place within the framework of the project “Green manual for youth space”, implemented by the association “homo ecos:” in cooperation with Sarkandaugava development association, “Demos Helsinki” (Finland) and “Minsk Cycling Community” (Belarus) and co-financed by the Nordic Council of Ministers.