RTUS Research © Goethe-Institut / Charlotte


Knowledge and experiences gained, and lessons learned during the project with various kind of activities and stakeholders, will be collected and curated for public use, as well as international best practices examples from other cities and countries on youth participation in urban community development through academic articles made available in English and Thai language.

What is youth participation? © Thai Civic Education FoundationBarry Checkoway

What is Youth Participation?

Youth participation strengthens personal and social development, provides expertise for children and youth programs and services, and promotes a more democratic society, but questions arise about its most fundamental phenomena. Lacking agreement on its basic content, however, youth participation as a field of practice and subject of study will be limited. This paper examines what we know about youth participation, general propositions which are substantiated by research or practice, and unanswered questions or unresolved issues which remain for future work. It draws upon various academic disciplines and professional fields, in order to contribute to knowledge development and advance the field.


Postcard illustrating young peoples’ wish for a soccer field in their neighbourhood © Ralph Fleckenstein, JAS – Jugend Architektur Stadt e. V. (YOUTH ARCHITECTURE CITY)Anna Juliane Heinrich

​Young Urban Designers: Involving Children and Youth in Urban Development in Germany

People-oriented urban planning should embrace the involvement of young people as fellow citizens and this should take manifold forms. Urban planners as professionals should not only plan for young people but plan with young people and appreciate urban development promoted by young people. Since this undoubtedly poses great challenges for urban planners, this article presented different modes of participation which illustrate how young people can be involved as urban designers. The modes of state-led participation, youth advocate-led involvement and youth-led projects illustrate how urban development is shaped by young people’s knowledge, demands and ideas and these modes offer planning professionals different opportunities on how this can possibly be further enabled, fostered, intensified or channeled.

Participation permitted – Young people building a wooden seating furniture on a participatory construction site © Ralph Fleckenstein, JAS – Jugend Architektur Stadt e. V. (YOUTH ARCHITECTURE CITY)Anna Juliane Heinrich, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Angela Million

Young People as City Builders: Youth Participation in German Municipalities

In 2009 the German Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development launched a research program called “Adolescents in Urban Neighborhoods” to foster youth participation in urban development and planning in Germany. Over all, 55 pilot projects were funded and implemented across Germany to explore methods, instruments and strategies to involve youth in urban planning and decision-making processes between 2009 and 2013. To broaden up the understanding of what youth participation can be, chances and challenges of state-led participation and two further forms to engage with participation are discussed and further defined in the paper: the integration of youth-led projects in planning processes and youth-advocate-led participation.