A walk in the park: an experiential approach to youth participation

Joshua Spier

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    1 Citation (Scopus)

    Abstract

    park design "walkshop" was facilitated by a lecturer as part of an undergraduate unit in youth participation at an Australian tertiary college. Inspired by the work of landscape architect Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009), the "scored" walkshop simulated a consultation walk designed to engage students in the hypothetical redevelopment of an urban park. The goal was for students to re-experience the urban park adjacent to the college's campus. Based on their sensory responses from moving around the park, the participants produced consensual ideas for improving the park. An evaluation was conducted inviting students to reflect on their transformative experiences and the walk process. Students reported that their walkshop experiences transformed their understandings of the park, and enabled them to realise their creative agency as social actors to shape public spaces. The evaluation of the walkshop suggests that Halprin's walk process has potential applications in urban design and youth work practice today. Modifications are recommended to Halprin's walk method for greater youth participation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)13-25
    Number of pages13
    JournalYouth Studies Australia
    Volume32
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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