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Survey: Young people not asked for views on their neighbourhood

Words: Laura Edgar
A group of young people

Research published today (20 October) shows that 89 per cent of young adults aged 16-18 have not been asked for their opinions about their neighbourhood.

Just 8 per cent say they have asked to take part in a public consultation.

The survey, conducted by Beatfreeks, an insights agency that focuses on young people, asked 538 people aged 16 to 18 if anyone, such as a councillor or property developer had requested their opinion on the future of their neighbourhood.

Of those that answered no (479), 391 – or 82 per cent) said they would like to be asked.

Property company Grosvenor Britain & Ireland commissioned the survey. The firm's CEO, James Raynor, said: “If we want to support community success, then young people have to be part of the conversation. Obviously, they have a right to be involved. But they can also help us create and manage better places. That’s as true in Belgravia as it is in Liverpool or Leeds. For us as a property company, it’s a win-win situation.”  

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, alongside the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), Sport England and ZD Architects, has created a youth engagement tool.

Voice.Opportunity.Power aims to improve how professionals, whether that is designers, developers, councils or youth and sports organisations, can “meaningfully engage” young people in planning, development and regeneration.

Free to use, the toolkit contains practical guidance on how to involve those aged 11 to 18 in the way that places are built and managed.

More than 20 organisations have backed the toolkit, including local authorities like Leeds City Council, British Land, Peabody and St Andrew’s Youth Club – the oldest youth club in the world.

Dinah Bornat, director, ZCD Architects, said: “Our work on this toolkit is informed by the years we have spent on the ground engaging young people in the design process. We know these techniques work and our masterplans are better for it. It’s a great resource for architects and planners – use it!”

Image credit | iStock