Anna Kotulla


Inviting secondary schools and their students to participate in urban planning

To include young people in Participatory Budgeting, a smart city strategy in urban planning and design, the participation process must be adjusted and enhanced.


Required partners for a collaboration increasing the practice of youth civic participation is school. The outcome of the project is a guideline for them. It aims to guide schools and their students through an expanded participatory process. Focusing on developing knowledge about urban planning and the appropriation of space as part of youths‘ education. Three leverage points shall support their ability to contribute: A guided process, modular opportunities in terms of the level of engagement and goals of output, and students’ practice of future work skills.


Recommendations for the municipality about practices of participation in terms of the right mindset, knowledge, and skills complement the research, experience, and work of observations of secondary school students aged 12 to 14 and their learning environment.


The guideline and toolkit it based on three main insights. 1. Youth civic participation is proactive and personal; it values many perspectives. 2. It must be experienced, learned, and practiced from both sides, the municipality, and its responsible departments as well as collaborative partners such as schools practicing a mindset of curiosity and being in the grey during the process. 3. Students can benefit from a framework that is open to innovative learning approaches, which helps to master complex topics such as the analyses of needs, ideation about possible solutions, and creative prototyping at a very early stage.


The goal of the guideline is to experience the role of students in participatory budgeting in a supportive context, which can be experienced, iterated, and adjusted to individual classroom characteristics. The guideline shall support a variety of aspects and competencies of learning and teaching approaches in collaboration with experts in urban planning, design, and arts. Including playful approaches to experiencing a specific public space, as well as creative thinking and doing. The guideline combines the disciplines and methods of participatory urban planning, design thinking, and pedagogy. A set of method combinations and practical recommendations for working with students, aim to increase adolescence development of character, communication and collaboration skills, creativity and visioning, and citizenship. It serves as impulses of approaches that are not yet established in the current educational system fostering competencies, and mindsets to tackle complex societal topics with students.

1 Kommentare

Konrad von Tresckow

Beeindruckend. Herzliche Glückwünsche, k


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