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Exploring the sub-themes – Sustainable Urban Development

As part of the 2019 Royal Visit to Germany, UK-German Connection organised a youth seminar on the theme of Sustainable Urban Development. During the seminar, participants were split into groups to discuss three separate sub-themes of urban development.

All groups took part in excursions around Leipzig, as well as workshop discussions. Based on these discussions, the participants within each group agreed on three key ‘focus areas’ relating to their theme, and created a visual presentation of their outcomes. You can read more about the different groups, their ideas and their three chosen focus areas below:

Group 1: Buildings & structures

  • Shared inspiring and challenging examples of ‘repurposed buildings’ from their local areas
  • Considered how to preserve a city’s past and identity, while building for the future

There were three focus areas that they as young people felt were fundamental for repurposing old buildings in a city:

  1. community focus
  2. structural identity
  3. innovative sustainability

Group 2: Environment & sustainability

  • Focused on access to natural spaces and waterways within an urban setting
  • Discussed and debated what the top principles should be for urban development planners when building access to natural spaces

They came up with three focus areas for creating ‘green & blue’ cities:

  1. transport
  2. blue and green spaces
  3. co-existence of nature and buildings

Group 3: Community involvement & human interaction (“have your say”)

  • Discussed different approaches to participation and consultation (and considered their feasability in different cities)
  • Considered how to widen participation and encourage more young people to engage in community initiatives.

Based on their discussions, the participants agreed on three focus areas relating to community involvement:

  1. dialogue
  2. inclusivity
  3. outreach

Their ideas and nine points, as well as the poster presentations, were presented to the Prince of Wales, and will also inform potential future workshops on the theme of sustainable urban development.