Gaining Insights from Today’s Youth

Our Experience at the Bucks Skills Show

As town planners, understanding the needs and aspirations of future generations is paramount to our work. That’s why we were excited to attend the Bucks Skill Show and take the opportunity to engage with young people through an interactive experiment aimed at uncovering their perspectives and visions for their future environment. 

We had nine labelled jars on our table, each representing environmental, social and economic factors. As students approached, we handed them three coins, (made from recycled fishing nets), and explained the task at hand.

Their mission? To allocate their coins among the jars that resonated most with them, symbolising their priorities and values for development in their local area. Would they gravitate towards environmental sustainability, social justice, or economic prosperity? The results were immensely insightful and not what you may necessarily have thought.

As the day progressed clear patterns emerged, shedding light on the issues that weigh most heavily on the minds of young people. Green spaces, energy efficiency and jobs, were the recurring themes that garnered significant attention.

The interactive session not only provided us with valuable insights into the concerns that resonate with our youth but also offered a glimpse into the kind of world they envision for themselves and future generations. Their thoughtful deliberations and earnest engagement left us feeling inspired and hopeful for the future.

As town planners, it’s our responsibility to listen to the voices of tomorrow and incorporate their perspectives into our planning processes. By understanding their priorities and aspirations, we can better shape our communities to meet the needs of all generations. Now, more than ever, it is vital that young people speak up. Ultimately, they are the people who will have to live with the legacy of our current actions. 

The experience at the Bucks Skill Show reaffirmed our belief in the knowledge of youth and the importance of involving young people in the decision-making processes that will influence their lives. We are immensely proud of our youth and grateful for the opportunity to learn from them.

In sharing these insights, we hope to change perceptions and show that development is not always viewed as negative. We want to continue to inspire young people to join the planning profession and work with us towards building a more inclusive, sustainable, and prosperous future for all.

Let’s continue to listen, learn, and work together towards a brighter tomorrow.

Written by Lia


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