BID LEAMINGTON CHALLENGES YOU TO COME UP WITH ‘YOUR PLACE’ – A PLACE WHERE YOUNG PEOPLE FEEL WELCOME AND FREE
As a place manager and urban planner we like to think of our town and city centres as community centres. This means they have to be accessible to all and be welcoming, safe and offer interest and value to everyone. This helps to foster pride and cohesion and helps our communities to be more resilient to the changes we face.
However in many town centres, high streets, shopping centres and even parks, young people are not welcome or they are even discouraged. This might be because the area is not interesting or safe. You may also find activities like skate parks are located as far away as possible or even uncomfortable noise emitting devices located in areas, that only you can hear.
Our challenge is for you to engage with ‘your place’. Find out what young people like yourself think of it, and try to come up with some ideas about how it could be made more welcoming, fun, safe and interesting to you and your age group.
Once you have some ideas, you will need to submit them and gather feedback and support. Positive change in our communities is often created by local volunteers who act on their ideas, and it’s OK to start small.
Our tip is to start your challenge with some research by speaking to people outside your bubble of friends to get different perspectives. Perhaps you can use social media to do this. You could also take a walk and capture your thoughts about problems or opportunities with photos. If you want to take it a step further, you may find some online examples of ideas in other places. Then develop your own ‘place story‘ and some ideas to improve ‘your place’, in a poster to share. Perhaps you can also write to your MP or local BID (Business Improvement District if there is one) with what your have discovered.