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Youth Engagement Index Bucharest
Youth Engagement Index Bucharest
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Youth Engagement Index Bucharest was the workshop held in Bucharest on the 9th and 10th of May 2014 at the initiative of Urbego [1]with the clear scope of assessing, in a consensual manner, the participation of young people (18-34 years of age) in city affairs where they live. The first two previous workshops opening up this theme for debate were held by Urbego together with local partners in Valencia and Medellin.

MakeBetter, having youth engagement as one of the main focuses in its projects, partnered up with the Union of Romanian Architects and with the Faculty of Urban Planning (UAUIM) in order to organize the workshop as well as to actively engage in the debates on such a concerning topic.

Bucharest, chosen for its dynamism and its apparent effervescence of city life as well as for the growing initiatives towards public sphere among young people, following a period of uprisings and raising awareness with regard to the quality of life in Bucharest, seemed to show the signs able to support a further development of youth engagement.

Fostering dialogue among participants – young representatives of academia, ngos, private planning offices – the workshop thoroughly looked[2] at how these premises and initiatives can be set in action in order to have a more publicly engaged critical mass of young people, and identified some key areas of intervention that need to be prioritized in this scope. The theme was divided into four components: preconditions, economic, political and institutional, cultural and civic engagement of young people and each of the four was at its turn broken down in six key questions.

As a result of the evaluation, Bucharest’s score is very oscillating both at the overall score and inside each subtheme, but it is important to retain that while the level of dissatisfaction reaches a maximum low in many cases the same cannot be said about the level of satisfaction which barely scores a highly satisfactory with regard to technology and cultural amenities.

As MakeBetter completely agreed and underlined during the discussions, this general dissatisfaction translates into the need of having better adapted public policies that can work on good existing premises. Although recent grass-root initiatives – be it economic, cultural or political – are becoming more visible, they need to undergo a process of maturation which has to be backed up by public investment in education, in financing instruments and last but not least in young people themselves.

[1] platform of young urban planning professionals under the umbrella of IFHP.

[2] The workshop was backed up by data analysis and questionnaires among young residents of Bucharest