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.
Urbex is a 12 month Erasmus+ funded project which will use 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 will join four other partners Bond of Union, Dramblys, Tesserae, Prostorož , each bringing a wealth and variety of experience in the field of participatory urban exploration to the project. We will share good practices and create exciting new methods and tools to trial in disadvantaged urban neighbourhoods across Europe.
The project will focus on two particular demographics identified by the project partners which are:
- 50 young people (16-24 years old) living in the neighbourhoods where the project partners are working (at least 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 (at least 5 for each partner)
Both groups will have the opportunity to be directly involved in the project, spending time together in Palermo to learn the different approaches and applications of urban exploration. The groups will gain knowledge, confidence and skills from this process; from the project partners; and from each other.
Each partner organisation will work in a specific pilot neighbourhood to test and deliver these practices. The pilot cities that have been selected are Albacete, Berlin, Ljubljana, London and Palermo. In order to gain maximum reach and be meaningful for participants, we will strategically tie-in project Urbex with existing projects and consultations happening in the neighbourhoods.
Once the tools, approaches and methods have been tested and refined, we will build a toolkit that all other agencies and organisations working with disadvantaged young people can use to increase their participation in civic society.
Mapping for Change in collaboration with the Humanities Education Centre (HEC) and local specialist on learning and ‘place’ Maggie Hewitt, worked with three schools in Tower Hamlets (Columbia School Community Map, Arnhem Wharf School Community Map and John Scurr School Community Map) to pilot a brand new process in which Year 4 pupils develop personalised maps of their local area with their own likes, memories and views on change.
As part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme, Mapping for Change were chosen to represent the UK in a learning exchange project with the University of Udine (Italy) and the University of Oulu (Finland).
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.