How do we have a dialogue with children about something as complex and abstract as a detailed plan? And how can we capture children's views early in the detailed planning process and actually allow their voices to influence the plan proposal before it's too late? By talking to a group of 13-year-olds even before consultation for a detailed plan for stage 1 Östra Ramlösa, the project will lead to an understanding of what it is that makes public places perceived as good and bad by young teenagers, a group that is rarely asked about their thoughts and ideas about urban development.
Within the city of Helsingborg, dialogue is held on urban development issues with children and young people, usually when there is already a specific detailed plan in place, and the project has reached the design phase. Then the size and function of the place is already determined and the children can only be involved and influence the content of the function itself, often it is a matter of being involved and deciding which play equipment should be on a playground. We see a need to involve children and young people earlier in the process to find out which places within a detailed planning area the city's younger citizens use, and in what way. By letting the city's children and young people take a seat and have a say even before the detailed plan is adopted, there is an opportunity for their opinions and thoughts to influence the design of the detailed plan.
In Helsingborg, we do not have much experience of having a dialogue with children and young people at this stage. By testing a number of different methods and approaches, we hope to be able to evaluate these in order to compile how the involvement of children and young people in future detailed planning processes can take place from an early stage.
Through early dialogue work with school students in seventh grade at Gustavslundsskolan, we want to capture whether there are places within the detailed plan area that are used and in what way, and gain increased knowledge about what children value in their immediate environment. By mapping which places are valued high and low, respectively, we hope to be able to learn from the students' thoughts about different places and functions, and what is required for a district to be as child - friendly as possible.