Engaging Youth in Transportation Decision-Making: Lessons from BC, Canada
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Engaging Youth in Transportation Decision-Making: Lessons from BC, Canada

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Velo-city Global 2012 Conference ...

Velo-city Global 2012 Conference
Victor Ngo & Brandon Yan
Vancouver, Canada - June 26, 2012

Session: Talking to the Future: Engaging Youth in Planning, Design and Decision-Making
Theme: Empowering Power and Inclusivity

Creating great walking, cycling and transit cities requires a vision informed by all members of the community. While engaging the public in planning and decision-making is a large endeavour in itself, engaging youth presents additional challenges. Many public bodies have found it difficult to engage youth through traditional forms of public consultation, such as open houses and workshops. Recent years have seen the emergence of innovative approaches and new technologies, such as social media, that have great potential to connect with a wider range of youth. Although there is a growing awareness and increasing experimentation with new tools, there is still much to learn about how to employ them effectively. One major barrier to this is that a lack of opportunities to receive feedback from youth about how they prefer to be engaged.

This session will allow staff and decision-makers to hear from youth themselves about why, when, where and how youth can be most effectively engaged in planning for walking, cycling and transit. The presentation will be based on ideas developed by delegates of the Connecting Communities: 2011 Youth Summit on Sustainable Transportation. The speakers will be the delegates themselves, who will have learned about best practices for engaging youth in public decision-making at the Connecting Communities conference. Having worked together to integrate these lessons with their own experience, they will present recommendations for how to better engage and consult youth.

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Engaging Youth in Transportation Decision-Making: Lessons from BC, Canada Engaging Youth in Transportation Decision-Making: Lessons from BC, Canada Presentation Transcript

  • Engaging Youth in TransportationDecision-MakingLessons from British Columbia, CanadaVictor NgoBrandon YanVelo-city Global 2012 ConferenceVancouver, Canada - June 26, 2012
  • Introduction• Victor Ngo o B.A. Geography & Urban Studies Student at the University of British Columbia o Research Assistant, UBC School of Community and Regional Planning• Brandon Yan o Graduate Diploma Urban Studies Student at Simon Fraser University o Coordinator, Vancouver Public Space NetworkBackground Image: Say It With a Print
  • Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)Regional Youth Summit “Facilitate the exchange of ideas on transit and sustainable urban transportation issues with youth, aiming to build teamwork and leadership skills, to give a foundation of the principles of urban and transit planning, to discuss youth targeted programs, and to discuss active transportation and community marketing.”
  • Bike Vancouver / David Lewis
  • Lindsey Donovan - www.lindseydonovan.com
  • Lindsey Donovan - www.lindseydonovan.com
  • Lindsey Donovan - www.lindseydonovan.com
  • Lindsey Donovan - www.lindseydonovan.com
  • Who Are We?
  • Three Age Groups 1. Middle childhood (elementary school) 2. Adolescence (secondary school) 3. Young adults (post-secondary)Mobility LifestyleEquity Preferences 1+2 3 Climate Justice 1+2+3
  • 1. Mobility Equity• Many children under the age of 18 are dependent on their parents and/or guardians for mobility• Necessary to provide active and alternative transportation options for youth as they dont have a choice in where they choose to live: o Walking o Cycling o Skateboarding o Scooters o Rollerblades Photo: Aaron Pruzaniec
  • 2. Lifestyle Preferences• Young adults prefer living in a walkable and bikeable community with nearby amenities Photo: Andrew Barton o The new real estate mantra: “Transit, transit, transit.” (Bob Rennie, Rennie Marketing Systems) “We have to face the growing reality that today young people dont seem Photo: Chris Keam to be as interested in cars as previous generations.” (Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor Sales USA President) Photo: Mark Dreger
  • UBC students to battle B.C. premier Christy Clark on Enbridge pipeline Photo: Jon Chiang / Special to the Vancouver Sunhttp://www.vancouversun.com/business/students+battle+premier+Christy+Clark+Enbridge+pipeline/6369575/story.html
  • 3. Climate Justice “As tomorrow’s adults, the role of young people as future stakeholders is obvious— they will inherit the outcomes of our decisions regarding physical development patterns.” (C. Santo, N. Ferguson, & A. Trippel 2010)• Youth are increasingly recognizing the urgency of mobilizing for climate change mitigation and adaptation• Providing sustainable transportation choices and shifting attitudes and behaviours play a crucial role in planning for climate change Photo: Next Year Country
  • Photo: REUTERS / Christinne MuschiThousands of students march as they protest against tuition hikes in downtown Montreal, Quebec, March 22, 2012.
  • Why Engage Us?
  • Why Engage Youth?• Planners and adults have an ethical and professional obligation to engage youth ”Participation enhances civic capacity, adults gain a better understanding of youth (and vice versa), and society as a whole advances the standing of young people.” (K.I. Frank 2006)
  • Benefits for Youth and Communities• Gaining and enhancing civic and planning literacy• Supporting cognitive and affective development• Providing a platform for youth to develop as responsible and active citizens through experience and by forging social connections• Access to learn about and affect change to local community ”Youth participation in planning resulted in new information, recommendations, and implemented projects that addressed both youth-specific and community wide concerns. The issues that youth tackled and their proposals for improvement were those that are widely recognized as important for community livability.” (K.I. Frank 2006)
  • How?
  • Frank, K.I. (2006). The Potential of Youth Participation in Planning.Journal of Planning Literature, 20(4), 351-371.Five lessons for effective youth participation: 1. Give youth responsibility 2. Build youth capacity 3. Encourage youthful styles of working 4. Involve adults throughout the process 5. Adapt the sociopolitical context
  • 1. Youth Advisory Bodies• Official body enables access to political landscape by giving youth legitimacy in the community through traditional forms of decision-making• Fosters sense of ownership by providing access to stakeholders and resources for effective mobilization• Platform for civic learning and personal & professional development
  • City of Edmonton Youth Council’s Transit Ninjas
  • City of Edmonton Youth Council’s Transit Ninjas
  • Edmonton hosts first LRT Dance PartyCTV EdmontonOver 100 people turned out to get on board for Edmontons first LRT Dance Party Saturday night.The event was planned by the Edmonton Youth Council with help from the City of Edmonton andEdmonton Transit."Its just part of their Transit Ninjas initiative, which is to promote transit to new riders and raiseawareness of the importance of transit to building a city that can attract and entertainyoung people," Coun. Iveson explained."Its a great promotion for youth council. A great way to show people that taking transit can be funand sustainable and a great place to meet other people.”Source: http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20111127/EDM_lrtdance_111127/20111127/?hub=EdmontonHome
  • 2. Youth Ambassadors• Peer-to-peer engagement: partner with youth and provide them with clear objectives, resources and knowledge• Youth are better able to engage other youth than adults• Professional development opportunity for ambassadors
  • 3. Partnering with Educational Institutions andOther Organizations• Co-curricular learning o Walking tours and cycling workshops in Physical Education and local government & land use/transportation planning in Social Studies• Showcasing student work o Emily Carr University of Art + Designs “Art on Transit”• The city as the classroom o CityStudio Vancouver and the “Greenest City 2020 Action Plan” o Ontario Ministry of Infrastructures “Making Great Places” • Youth led-development organizations o Sustainable Cities internships and fee-for-service workshops (Comox-Helmcken Greenway Project)
  • 3. Go Where the Youth Are• Many youth are not initially interested in attending traditional town hall meetings, open houses, etc.• Connect with youth at: o Major transit stops; on bus and rapid transit o High school and university/college campuses o Community centers o Skateparks• Start with casual and/or informal engagement in order to build awareness and trust, and then transition into more formal methods• Be transparent in the process and provide clear outcomes in accessible language youth can understand
  • 4. Social and Digital Media• Democratization of visioning, ideation, and decision-making to a broader cross-section of the population• Mechanism to enhance—not replace—traditional engagement• Two pillars of social media: 1. Two-way conversation 2. User-generated content• Not a silver bullet o Additional work for additional value
  • M. Senbel, J. Frantz, M. Brown, E. Blair, & V.D. Ngo (2012) UBC School of Community and Regional Planning“From Communities of Interest to Communities of Practice: Digital Media as Catalysts for Climate Action Campaigns”
  • (Some) Issues Youth Are Interested In• Shorter term projects with clear and tangible outcomes• Physical infrastructure• Mobility and access to spaces to "have fun" and "hang out"• Pricing and affordability• Safety• Legitimizing other alternative modes of transportation (e.g. skateboarding)
  • Requirements and Considerations• Staff dedicated and/or trained for youth engagement o Youth are not a homogeneous group; variety of socio-economic and developmental backgrounds• "Dont do it if you dont mean it." o Avoid tokenism o Assemble the necessary resources, support, and money• Improper implementation of youth engagement can: o Be counter-productive and foster apathy o Lead to youth concerns being ignored or dismissed as being naive and idealistic o Facilitate sense of powerlessness and cynicism about political involvement
  • Questions +Discussion
  • AcknowledgementsThank you to the Canadian Urban Transit Association, BC Transit, TransLinkand the TransLink BC Youth Summit organizing committee for sponsoring ourregistration and making it possible to attend Velo-city Global 2012.ContactVictor Ngo Brandon Yanvictor.douglas.ngo@gmail.com brandon.o.yan@gmail.com@victorngo @pre_planner
  • References• Background Say It With a Print (2012). http://sayitwithaprint.blogspot.ca/2010/10/i-love-my-bike-print_03.html• Slide 11 Aaron Pruzaniec (2005). http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:No_Skateboarding.jpg• Slide 12 Andrew Barton (2010). http://actsofminortreason.blogspot.ca/2010/09/tunnel-visions-vancouvers-skytrain.html Chris Keam (2010). http://www.chriskeam.com/2010/11/10/where-to-eat-drink-and-shop-on-vancouvers-downtown-bike- lanes/ Mark Dreger (2012). http://www.sanfranciscoize.com/2012/01/noriega-streets-new-parklet-is-full-of.html• Slide 13 Jon Chiang (2012). http://www.vancouversun.com/business/students+battle+premier+Christy+Clark+Enbridge+pipeline/6369575/story.html• Slide 14 Next Year Country (2012). http://nextyearcountrynews.blogspot.ca/2012/01/climate-justice-movement-in-saskatoon.html• Slide 16 REUTERS / Christinne Muschi (2012). http://ca.news.yahoo.com/photos/quebec-students-protest-tuition-hikes- slideshow/thousands-students-march-protest-against-tuition-hikes-downtown-photo-201047396.html• Slide 23 + 24 Edmonton Transit Ninjas (2011). https://www.facebook.com/transitninjas• Slide 30 http://promotionalplr.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Social-Media-Icons.png