The Young Placechangers programme combines greenspace scotland’s experience of working with community groups on placemaking with Youth Scotland’s experience of youth work and supporting young people to take the lead.
Young people are almost invisible in the Public Realm and are a missing voice in local place consultations. They are frequently described as a ‘problem’ by the wider community and the answer to the perceived threat of young people ‘hanging around’ is often to restrict access to young people.
Young Place Changers puts young people in the lead role – bringing together the wide community to look at local spaces and plan improvements. The Young Placechangers programme has used a co-production approach to develop and pilot a training and support programme enabling young people to transform both the place they live, their relationship to it and the wider community.
The pilot project supported three groups of young people - direct support to the groups was by a cohort of trained facilitators (young people from the ‘Young People take the Lead’) with staff input from greenspace scotland and Youth Scotland.
Placechangers and Town Centres
Over the past year, we have been working with a range of partners on a town centre placemaking project designed and led by young people. This is part of our national partnership work with Youth Scotland.
The Dunfermline project used our community placemaking tools along with the Place Standard and the Town Centre Toolkit and a range of youth engagement and youth work techniques and approaches. Our partners in Dunfermline were Youth First and two local youth projects – Fairway Fife and Headroom. The process was led by two immensely capable young facilitators from Youth Scotland’s ‘Young People Take the Lead’ project – Ahmed Mumin and Edward Fitzpatrick.
The project group evaluated local place quality, discussed ideas with the wider public and developed a range of placemaking actions which prioritised improving links between the High Street and key local facilities through the town’s greenspaces.
This is both about physical links and signage and more ‘thematic’ links seeking to create a series of arts and performance connections across the Town Centre with a focus on access for all.
In a nice example of the community placemaking principle ‘It’s not about the money’, project partner Central Dunfermline Community Council worked with the group to more than double the project budget to allow a fuller set of actions to be delivered within the town centre much sooner, including new signage and the creation of an outdoor performance space.
This project was supported by Scottish Government and features as a case study on the Scotland’s Towns Partnership website
Find out more about the project here