Captivating Youth Engagement


  • The array of approaches taken to engaging youth in planning
  • How to identify a project or an opportunity
  • Tips and techniques for working with youth
  • The unexpected results when young people engage with and in planning 


Planning offers many opportunities for bringing youth into the action. Hear about engaging programs that developed from different planning issues and used varying approaches. Planners share their insights about what works well with young people and how to convey the value of planning to communities. Examples include APA’s Ambassadors program, Columbia University’s campus expansion and community engagement efforts, and Pratt Institute’s outreach efforts. More and more planners are recognizing the importance of youth in planning, but there is no one perfect model for success. Experience the range of programs and come with your questions on how to implement a program in your community.

Increasingly, planners are reaching out to youth. These efforts can include having young people serve on planning commissions, design committees, or even the city council. Other efforts are more short term and may take place when a specific plan is being developed, such as a parks and recreation plan. This course will explore some of the scope of these efforts and reveal who is spearheading these efforts.

One case study will explain a large development project undertaken by Columbia University as it expanded. The program served as both public engagement and education. A second example grew out of the Pratt Center for Art, Design, and Community Engagement K-12. Other examples will come from APA's Ambassador program that was inaugerated in the past year. You'll hear how planners created the opportunity to go into the classroom or add a new dimension to a planning project underway. 

Learn about the institutional support for these projects and assess what resources you might need to undertake your own project.