Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2803

Article | Open Access

Educating Future Planners about Working with Children and Young People

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Abstract:  Planning and urban design professionals should ensure they engage children/young people in their work so planning systems and strategic policy can be more inclusive of the needs and aspirations of children/young people. Yet practitioners do not necessarily view children/young people as legitimate stakeholders, and professionals do not necessarily have the skills to be inclusive. To shift current policy and practice, planners and designers need to be better educated so they can facilitate children’s/young people’s contributions as well as advocate effectively for systemic change. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities provide legitimacy and direction for current and future professionals about why engagement with children/young people should be a fundamental part of professional practice. However, it’s important that students and practitioners learn how to engage with children/young people ethically. A key starting point is the way in which education is constituted as ethical practice when conducting research and engagement activities with children/young people. Lansdown’s (2011) requirements for ethical engagement are applied to reflexively evaluate the design and implementation of a university subject, delivered in Victoria, Australia, that trains future planners about how to work with children and young people.

Keywords:  children; education; friendly city; young people; planning; urban design



© Julie Rudner. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.