Youngsters and public space is a combination that quickly brings to mind thoughts of irritation and destruction; groups of youngsters that no one dares to walk past, scooters precisely where they don’t ‘belong’, or skaters who use a work of art as a springboard. But there is an alternative!
Countless planning interventions, both large-scale and small, will be realized in the coming years. This seems the perfect moment to consult the youth. DSP-group has developed an instrument for involving youngsters in the development of plans for public space: Kids & Space is an instrument in which youngsters from 12 to 18 years old make their wishes known and develop ideas for public space and the built facilities. The youngsters make a plan themselves, build models and present their ideas.
There is much to learn from listening to youngsters. They use the space now and will be responsible for it in the future. They know what youngsters want and what motivates them. They can see places for playing that an adult would never have thought of, or can anticipate problems, sometimes better than an urban designer or landscape architect. Kids & Space is fun and challenging and makes use of the youngster’s creativity.
Step by step
Tailor-made instrument Kids & Space is not a rigid program. Together with the client, it is tailored to the specific situation. The device can be deployed for both large-scale restructuring operations as well as smaller plans on the neighborhood level when redeveloping of a park, plaza or recreation area. Kids & Space takes approximately three months. The course can be extended by presenting the youngsters with a more detailed plan in a later phase. They can then assess whether the ideas they contributed have been sufficiently included in the plan.
DSP-groep joined the, EU financed, project 'Streets for Living' with co-operating cities Hilversum (NL), Swindon (UK), and Plaine Commune (F). The goal of the project was to develop caring, sustainable and safe public spaces. Look at the Streets for Living website for more info.
DSP-groep employs experts in the fields of socially safe design, youth participation and neighborhood development. An enthusiastic team of independent professionals is responsible for the implementation of Kids & Space, often in cooperation with (multi) cultural organizations and schools.