Youth in Local Planning
Cities and counties in California are creatively engaging youth in short- and long-term local planning. Some examples include:
- In 2006, the City of San Carlos formally included youth in city planning for the first time, asking high school students from the city’s youth advisory council to serve as rotating members of an official voting position of the general plan advisory committee. This committee organized a series of forums to get input from the greater community, including one where 60 middle and high school students gave input that influenced the city to zone more areas for commercial development, in hopes it will bring in more youth friendly entertainment options. Read San Carlos Youth Involvement in General Plan Updates on our website to learn more about San Carlos’ youth involved in planning.
- The City Council in Lafayette asked a member of the city’s youth commission to serve on a citizens’ advisory committee that selected and advised a consultant for a two year long downtown planning process. The high school student attended almost all of the 23 committee meetings and many of his ideas were reflected in the draft plan that was released in 2009.
- The City of Fremont’s Climate Action Plan project manager formed an eleven member citizens advisory group that includes 5 high school students who are interested in encouraging the community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The committee will work with city staff to craft a plan to present to the city council in 2010. Read City of Fremont - Involving the Public in Climate Change Action for more information.
- The City of Santa Monica engaged over 500 local students of all ages in their General Plan update through partnerships with public schools and local youth programs. City staff developed a youth planning toolkit with recommended activities to make it easy and fun for youth to choose from a variety of issues to weigh in on.