Mapping for Change

Project

Urbex – Engaging Young People Through Urban Exploration

Youth are the future and without engaging with them, their potential to become leaders and advocates for positive change in their communities could be lost. In recent times, it has been argued that young people in urban communities are less likely to take part in civic engagement activities, resulting in both youth and society missing out on the potential benefits. Mapping for Change is teaming up with several partners in Europe to tackle this issue with project Urbex.

Background

Urbex is a 12 month Erasmus+ funded project which used urban exploration as an innovative way to engage young people at risk of social exclusion and encourage their participation in civic issues.

Mapping for Change joined four other partners Bond of Union, DramblysTesseraeProstorož , each bringing a wealth and variety of experience in the field of participatory urban exploration to the project. We shared good practices and created exciting new methods and tools that we trialled in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods across Europe.

The Project

The project focused on two particular demographics identified by the project partners:

  • 50 young people (16-24 years old) living in the neighbourhoods where the project partners work (10 for each local context)
  • 25 youth workers/educators of the partner organisations and other professionals interested in the use of urban exploration as an educational tool (5 for each partner)

Both groups were directly involved in the project, spending time together in Palermo to learn the different approaches and applications of urban exploration. The groups gained knowledge, confidence and skills from this process; from the project partners; and from each other.

The Partners

Each partner organisation worked in a specific pilot neighbourhood to test and deliver these practices. The pilot cities involved were Albacete, Berlin, Ljubljana, London and Palermo. In order to gain maximum reach and be meaningful for participants, we tied-in project Urbex with existing projects and consultations happening in the neighbourhoods.

The outputs

  • A summary of the project activities and deployment can be found in this blog post and the project newsletters (project newsletter 1 and project newsletter 2).
  • Both individually in our local contexts and together in Palermo, the project partners tested and refined tools, approaches and methods that were put in a toolkit. This is a document that all other agencies and organisations working with disadvantaged young people can use to increase their participation in civic society.

 

  • A picture is worth a thousand words but a video can be even more inspiring! Watch the testimonies and experiences of the young people who took part in the exchange in Palermo in April 2019.

Related Projects

Design for Wellbeing

Design for Wellbeing is a multidisciplinary research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. The project aims to investigate ‘community severance’; the concept that major transport infrastructure, such as busy roads, can negatively influence elderly people’s physical and psychological wellbeing, by segregating their community and restricting their mobility.

Science in the City 2

The City of London Corporation and Mapping for Change are teaming up once again to conduct a citizen science project to monitor air quality in the capital city and evaluate the recent changes made in the area. The project will seek to understand the impacts that public participation and citizen science have on environmental issues.

Breathe Clean - Citizen Science in Tower Hamlets

Breathe Clean will be providing Tower Hamlets residents with the materials & training needed to monitor nitrogen dioxide levels around the places that matter to them. Participants will measure the air quality at a number of locations over a period of six months, to get a more granular picture of the situation in the borough. The data from the Breathe Clean project will be made available on Mapping for Change’s community maps webpage.