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Youth Engagement for Planners

Spring 2024 - As we prepare a Planning Advisory Service Report for the American Planning Association re: engaging children and teenagers in community planning processes, we are looking for case studies, best practices and pro-tips.

If you have stories, resources or contacts that we should know about, please let us know 

If you are in the midst of a project that could benefit from youth engagement, let's talk about supporting this as a case study profiled in this report.

An outline of chapters is as follows;

Ch 1. Introduction

  • Why should planners care about youth engagement?

  • Definitions

  • Road Map of the Report

Ch 2. The Benefits of Youth Engagement

  • How Communities Benefit from Youth Engagement

  • How Young People Benefit from Community Engagement

    • Sidebar: Managing Climate Anxiety

Ch 3. Principles of Authentic Youth Engagement

  • Characteristics of engaged and empowered youth

    • Sidebar: Youth of Today

  • Avoiding Tokenization

Ch 4. Sites and Partners for Youth Engagement

  • Bringing Community Engagement to Children and Teenagers

  • Bringing Children and Teenagers to Community Engagement

  • Partners in Youth Engagement

    • Sidebar: Mentoring Future Planners

Ch 5. Timelines for Youth Engagement

  • Drop-In Events and Project-Specific Engagement

  • Youth Forums and Ongoing Youth Engagement

    • Sidebar: Time-Factor: Why a Teen’s “I Don’t Know…” has an Unspoken “…Yet”

  • How Participants Might Contribute After Your Event

Ch 6. Recruiting Youth Participants

  • Whose Voices does this Project Need to Hear From?

  • Eager and Easy-to-Reach Youth Participants

  • Youth Participation that Represents Your Community

    • Sidebar: Grade 10s or 10-Year-Olds​

Ch 7. Preparing to Conduct Youth Engagement

  • Adding to a Planner's Skillset

    • Sidebar: Engaging with children and teens can be fun, inspiring and invigorating​

  • Context and Expectations for Working with Youth

  • Creating Spaces Where Engagement Might Deepen

    • Sidebar: Tools of Technology

Ch 8. Creating and Facilitating a Youth Engagement Process

  • The Social Side of Youth Engagement

  • Anticipating Follow-Up Steps

    • Sidebar: Don't be Alarmed - What to Do if You Start to Panic

Ch 9. Strategies for Different Age Groups

  • Recommended practices for a Wide Age Range of Youth

  • Recommended Adaptations for Children/Elementary Schoolers

  • Recommended Adaptations for Teenagers/High Schoolers

Ch 10. Case Studies of Youth Engagement

Ch 11. Conclusion

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