RCE British Colombia-2015

1. Project Title: 
Eco City Youth
2. Thematic area/s addressed by the project
Select your options: 
3. Project partner contact information : 
Co-Design Collaborative
Project Delivery
Main Contact: 
Stanley King
4. Project type
5. Project description
Provide a short description of the project including strategies, regional challenges, aims and specific project activities.: 

Stanley King and Susan Chung are co-authors of the Youth Manual for Sustainable Design: Stanley is a pioneer in public participation and he developed the City on the Wall and co-design process. Susan is a science and biology educator and co-design artist. She adapted the co-design process for environmental education so that youth may respond to ecological challenges. Susan explored and articulated the connection between youth participation through co-design and ecology and place-based education for youth.

Their combined experience in youth engagement enables them to develop lesson strategies that combine co-design with current methods in environmental education. Together they created a Co-Design Youth Program to help youth participate in the design of the spaces they will ultimately inherit. Recently, the program has enabled youth to participate in

school garden design,

the interior design of a public library youth space

architectural design of a waterfront

transportation planning

youth-led conferences

strategic planning for environmental education

6. Project status
The Institute / RCE conducted a program that engaged youth and teachers at three schools in BC in a creative and positive approach to forecast futures of urban expansion:

1. Increased urban density. Forecasts project that cities will be twice as populous as now by mid-century.

2. Increased density threatens quality of life. Established communities fear change that brings increased traffic, and towers to replace low-rise buildings.

3. Destruction of nature by demands of burgeoning urban populations. Pressure on nature for land for development, resources of water, food, energy, recreation, and waste disposal already cause concern.

4. Dysfunctional community engagement. Tentative attempts to increase density arouse community rage against planners and Council.

5. Alienation of youth. Our research shows that changes to youth’s environments cause alienation - even small changes. Major changes over many years require youth to be equipped to participate constructively in the planning of their neighbourhoods. By playing a part in its improvement they regard it as theirs and mature to care for it as their own.

Youth engagement occurred at

• Ecole Pauline Johnson for the design of a natural playground of indigenous planting, in collaboration with landscape architects Cornelia Oberlander and Beryl Allen

• Norgate Elementary School in the design of their playgound to feature First Nations local mythology in collaboration with the community

• Gladstone Secondary and Main Street Education Centre for the merging of these two schools into one building, in collaboration with the architects of Vancouver School Board Facilities Planning.

Teacher training occurred at:

• Ecole Pauline Johnson Elementary School in February

• SFU Environmental Education Course for teachers at the Harbour Centre in May

• SFU Environmental Education Outdoor School on Haida Gwaii in August.
8. Tagging