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 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, Dramblys, Tesserae, Prostorož , 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 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
InSPIRES is a EU-funded project which aims to address the information gap that vulnerable demographics can hold about the impact that air pollution has on their health. Mapping for Change works with a school in London, whereby parents and pupils will have the opportunity to monitor particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide pollution levels in and around their homes.
Love Lambeth Air provided local people with the materials and support required to collect measurements for nitrogen dioxide across a number of streets in Lambeth, providing a detailed picture of air quality in their local area.