Vancouver’s youth urged to help shape the city’s future

How do you map out a city’s future? For decision-makers in Vancouver, it could turn out to be as easy as child’s play.

That’s certainly one part of the puzzle for all those invested in the long-term future of Vancouver, the third-largest Metropolitan area in Canada.

City officials were quick to realise early that involving children and young people in shaping its future outlook was the right – and smart – thing to do, and so they are now already well on the way to outlining a vision which will help ensure the city works for everyone, not least children and families.

‘Too often, decisions are made without hearing from the city’s youth’

“Have you ever wondered by things in your city are where they are? The sidewalks, the parks, the streets, the buildings – the simple answer is that everything you see in your city is the result of choices made by someone.”

That’s one of the opening gambits of the Vancouver Plan, as it reaches out directly to those young people who, the decision-makers realise, are the future of this great city. “Too often, those decisions are made without hearing from people like you, the city’s youth. Join us in Planning Vancouver Together and help define the kind of city we want in the future,” it adds.

This child-friendly section of the plan makes it clear to young people just how influential their ideas can be when looking at the infrastructure of a major city like Vancouver, and all the societal effects that go with it.

It says that questions like where to build new housing, the best locations for new parks and playgrounds, and how the city can best adapt in the future to environmental challenges like rising sea levels and pollution, all require answers that will impact on the city evolves for our children, their children, and future generations.

‘Just how influential their ideas can be’

“This is where we need you, our Young Planners, to help us guide the right choices for a future city where we can all thrive,” is the message.

The city therefore is looking for ideas for a post-COVID-19 Vancouver, and posing the question to young people – what are your biggest issues for the future? Ideas can be submitted and shared in any form, be it drawings, collages, photographs, videos, and the like. Social media is an obvious vehicle for young people, so even podcasts and TikTok videos are also being encouraged.

Click here for more information, including a link to a survey for young people.

Anyone interested can follow developments using the social media hashtag #YoungPlannersVancouver

Author: Simon Weedy

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