New Planners Need New Manuals

Saturday, May 6, 2017 | 10:45 a.m. - noon
CM | 1.25
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You'll learn about:

  • Ways to explain urban planning principles to pre-collegiate audiences
  • How to make your planning project fun, personalized and accessible in order to encourage young people to want to be involved
  • The benefits of active experience-based projects as well as passive feedback techniques
  • Unique perspectives shared by young people involved with planning for their communities
  • A city-wide strategy to infuse urban planning and civic education into 6-10th grade curricula
  • Tthe benefits of youth sharing their insights with the larger community, and how that can help to spur creative thinking and generate new approaches to planning and problem-solving

Low-income youth and young people of color are less likely than their peers to have access to high quality civic learning experiences. Meira Levinson, in Leave no Citizen Behind (Levinson, 2012), outlines a "...profound civic empowerment gap...between ethnographical minority, naturalized, and especially poor citizens, on one hand, and white, native-born, and especially middle-class and wealthy citizens on the other." African-American students report fewer civic-oriented government classes, and Latinos are afforded fewer community service opportunities and open classroom environments (Kahne and Middaugh, 2008)

These disparities lead to differences in civic engagement including voting, volunteering, contacting elected officials and donating to charitable causes. This civic empowerment gap weakens the quality and integrity of our democracy.

Inspired by the 1911 Wacker’s Manual, The Chicago Architecture Foundation created a new graphic novel, “No Small Plans,” which explores the intersection between urban planning and civic engagement through the adventures of young people in Chicago’s past, present and future as they wrestle with why design matters and what it will take to plan and develop the city they need and deserve.

In this session, planners will have the opportunity to consider rationales and methods for involving youth in urban planning in ways that address the civic engagement opportunity gap.



Gabrielle Lyon , Chicago Architecture Foundation , Chicago , IL (see bio)
Adam Rosa , AICP , Camiros, Ltd. , Chicago , IL (see bio)