As a founding member of the UrbanOvation Future Places Forum, our Director, Gemma John was asked to speak about how businesses could engage young people. This is a topic that is being explored in Europe and Africa, and not simply in relation to the built environment. When it comes to climate change, what would youth prioritise? 

Drawing out some details from a previous UrbanOvation discussion about building a community through development, Gemma focused on the why, how and what of youth engagement. Here are her thoughts:

  • Youth engagement helps young people to become leaders. When young people are involved, they not only develop their skills, but also deepen their ambitions.
  • Anchor institutions are essential partners. They help businesses to strengthen their relationships with communities, building resilience through a shared mission.
  • Developers should be 'enablers'. Being an enabler can be a messy business since young people’s views can be contradictory. But the end result will be more beautiful.


When organisations have the community on their side, it's so much easier to make the case for a new development. It’s win-win, we think.

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