Gen Y commit to making ChCh a leading city by 2050

23 May 2011

Almost 100 students from schools and tertiary institutions across Christchurch took part in Youth Vison 2050, a three-day workshop to create a vision for Christchurch 2050 of which the University of Canterbury was a premier partner.

Gen Y commit to making ChCh a leading city by 2050

(From left) Petrina Chai, Youth Vision 2050 organiser Amanda Keefe, Joshua Kurene, former Mayor of San Francisco Art Agnos and Youth Vision 2050 organiser Louis Brown.

Social Innovation Chief Executive Louis Brown reports on Youth Vision 2050: Almost 100 students from schools and tertiary institutions across Christchurch took part in Youth Vison 2050, a three-day workshop to create a vision for Christchurch 2050 of which the University of Canterbury was a premier partner.

Two days of the event were held in UC's Jack Mann Auditorium at the College of Education where the young people, aged between 11 and 30 years old, shared their vision and workshopped their ideas under the guidance of local young leaders and professionals.

The event was organised by Louis Brown and Amanda Keefe of the Social Innovation Trust and One Christchurch.

"Youth Vision 2050 is a first step in capturing and harnessing the potential of 100,000 young Cantabrians to be on the frontline of the city's rebuild," said Mr Brown.

The vision and ideas will be collated to form a 10-page Youth Vision document that will be presented to policy makers and politicians to consider at the UNESCO-sponsored Christchurch Youth Voices Forum on 28 May.

Margot Shanahan, 16, from Rangi Ruru Girls' School said she became involved because the rebuild is for her generation.

"We're the ones who will raise our families here."

She said that she was particularly concerned about how long it is taking for the red zone to be opened up to the public.

"It's been three months. We've got to get a move on otherwise our city will lose people."

Jackson Olds, 13, from Christchurch Boys' High School said he attended the event because he thought it would help with a school project.

"I'm becoming a bit more involved than I thought I would be. The ideas we're talking about could really happen. We have the opportunity to reach people who can make it happen."

Cheana Horua-Heather of Aranui High School said she wanted the rebuild to be inclusive of everyone.

"I wanted to put my vision out there to see if it gets accepted."

Ideas for the Central Business District, renamed the Central Human District, included providing spaces for young people; free outdoor entertainment; re-designing gardens for people; growing bike lanes and shrinking roads and ensuring wheelchair access.

For the wider city, consideration was given to bursting Christchurch's suburban bubbles to build a more cohesive city and discussing the suitability of temporary housing and asking what will happen to them.

Thirty young representatives are being selected to process further ideas and visions during the UNESCO event this weekend, which will also feature four simultaneous youth forums across the city.

The representatives will take part in a "dragons' den"-style presentation to key politicians and policy makers and a roundtable negotiation.

Mr Brown invited others to contribute to the project. Ideas and comments can be left on the One Christchurch Facebook page or by emailing info@onechristchurch.org.nz.

As well as the University of Canterbury other organisations that helped make the event happen were the Student Volunteer Army, the Christchurch Polytechnic of Technology, the Ministry of Youth Development and the Christchurch City Council.

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