1st Edition

Engaging Children and Young People in Planning A Handbook for Transformative Practice

By Teresa Strachan Copyright 2024
    242 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    242 Pages 13 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Engaging Children and Young People in Planning places planners’ skills for engagement with children and young people centre stage by discussing several projects delivered or supported by planning students to young people in the Northeast of England. Urban or town and country planning is a largely unfamiliar concept to children and young people. Moreover, in England, the environment in which young people live, play and go to school is shaped by a local planning process which lacks their input. This book explores the nature of the gap between that planning process and the voice of the younger members of the community, as well as the barriers that impede this engagement. It highlights why an engagement process is beneficial for those young people, for the wider community and for the planning process itself. At a time when our relationship with and impact on, the environment is being re-examined, this book challenges the planning professional to identify, develop and reflect upon the engagement skills that will help to transform planning into a more inclusive practice. It will be of use to scholars and practitioners in urban planning, community planning, engagement and children’s rights, whilst supporting their academic and professional development pathways.

    PART 1
    Setting the Scene for Youth Engagement in Planning

    1. Context, Definitions and Assumptions

    2. The Foundations for Young People’s Engagement in Planning

    3. English Planning and the Involvement of Communities, Children and Young People

    4. Identifying the Barriers to Youth Engagement in Planning

    5. Skills for Engaging Young People in Planning

    PART 2
    The Case Study Projects and Activities

    6. Engaging Young People in Planning: The Case Studies

    7. Activities to Support Youth Engagement in Planning

    PART 3
    Learning and Looking Forward

    8. Young People’s Perspectives on Place and Their Future Aspirations

    9. Young People’s Knowledge and Understanding of Planning, Planners and Participation

    10. Dismantling the Barriers through Youth Engagement Practice: Reflections on the Case Study Experiences

    11. Skills for Youth Engagement Emerging from the Case Studies

    12. Bringing It All Together and Looking Forward

    13. Conclusions and Recommendations for Transformative Practice


    Teresa Strachan was previously Senior Lecturer in Planning at Newcastle University, before retiring to concentrate on her engagement-focused writing. She is the founder of the student volunteer project ‘YES Planning,’ and previously worked as a planner in the public and private sectors and for the charity Planning Aid England. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Town Planning Institute.

    "This highly informative and accessible book can be used either as a reference source for anything you need to know about engaging young people in planning or even more productively as the guidance for planning, doing and reviewing meaningful participation for the next generation of citizens. It opens up routes to greater agency for both planning professionals and young people at a time when we need urgent action on a host of social and environmental issues and much of that action must be at the grass roots."

    David Leat, Professor of Curriculum Innovation, Newcastle University, UK

    'In a very engaging and interactive style, Teresa Strachan champions the importance of and inspiration for youth engagement in Planning across several activity areas and across a wide range of perspectives. Through a series of case-studies that stem from personal experiences, reflexive practice and wider learning, this unique and comprehensive sourcebook illustrates ways in which young people can contribute to reimagining and reshaping place-making for sustainability.'

    Paola Gazzola, Reader in Environmental and Sustainability Assessment, Newcastle University, UK

    'This book is one of a kind. It brings together over 20 years of experience with a freshness and enthusiasm for youth engagement in planning, which is sorely needed. The work unpacks the importance, nature and challenges of the world of participatory urban planning with young people in mind, and offers a range of case studies and activities that will be of value to students and practitioners alike.'

    Lucy Natarajan, Associate Professor, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL, UK

    'Clearly written and empathetically engaging the reader, this book draws on Teresa Strachan's experience and research to show in detail how planners can engage with young people. Deeply committed to both the field of planning and to the importance of listening to young people's voices, it should be essential reading for students and professionals keen to develop and hone their skills in any form of community engagement, and for all those seeking to expand young people's understanding of their everyday worlds'

    Patsy Healey, Professor Emeritus, School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape, Newcastle University, UK