Over the course of 2014, PAS has been running a youth exchange project with Suwalki city in Poland where the focus has been on youth participation in both place and civic decision-making. Following a study trip to Edinburgh by Suwalki students, a return exchange took place to Poland in late November with planning students from Dundee University and volunteers from PAS.
The project was about exploring the idea of creating a Youth Council in Suwalki. Through sharing experiences of the Scottish Planning System and Youth Parliament, students exchanged ideas through a series of workshops where activities included a visit to Suwalki Town Hall to meet with planners and politicians, a number of conferences and opportunities for debate on youth democracy and placemaking, as well as a tour of Suwalki Community Centre to highlight its role within society. During discussions students worked in groups and were asked to discuss topics such as governance, communication and planning as well as thinking about the past, present and future of their place.
The week long exchange concluded with a presentation to invited guests which summarised the outcome of discussion and presented findings of a survey undertaken by all students in the High School. The experience was a great opportunity to share ideas and learn about planning and youth participation from a different perspective, as well as sharing some of our traditional Scottish country dancing of course!
A video summary of this recent trip can be found on the PAS website.