Claiming open space: youth identity and the challenge of meaningful participation

Dennis, S.F., 2004, Claiming open space: youth identity and the challenge of meaningful participation, in: OPENspace, ‘Open space, people space’, OPENspace, Edinburgh

  • Author : Dennis, S.F.
  • Year : 2004
  • Published in Book : Open space, people space
  • Abstract in English : Recent community planning projects, aimed at giving voice to youths’ concerns about the communities in which they live, have received considerable attention in US planning literature (Loukaitou-Sideris, 2003, Mullahey et al, 1999, Checkoway et al, 1995). At the same time, a renewed focus on youth development has produced numerous studies on the positive outcomes of youth participation in youth-serving organizations (Benson and Pittman, 2001, Pittman and Ferber, 2001, Scales and Leffert, 1999). This paper reports on the results of a comparative case study of two youth planning projects involving so-called ‘at-risk’ youth in transforming public open space in their communities. Despite participants’ feelings of powerlessness within the context of the project itself, the highly visible nature of their work, together with public validation of the youths’ contribution to the community, contributed to youths’ sense of being taken seriously and being valued by the community.
  • Outline in English : KEYWORDS: youth participation, open space, public art, youth identity. [paper 6 p.]