Responding to the challenge posed by the SF Planning Department, these first grade students worked in teams to create posters articulating their thoughts, feelings, hopes and desires for the urban environments we all occupy. Each team took on a theme: Transportation, Safety, Adventure, Learning, Stewardship, Equity, Wild Space, Fun, and Diversity. They studied inspiring examples of public spaces in cities around the world and then translated their dreams and visions into collages, drawings, and writing. They have concepts to give us about how to enhance the city in ways in which they — and all of us — can thrive.
Children want to learn, act and contribute. These young children prove, that when asked, children eagerly respond to opportunities to think creatively about the environments we all occupy. They have much to offer us about re-thinking our created spaces. When given a framework within which to generate solutions and recommendations, children produce ideas about the built environment that are fresh, insightful, imaginative, and humane.
This blog was written by Shirl Buss, Y-PLAN Elementary, UC Berkeley
Y-PLAN Elementary, an initiative at the UC Berkeley Center for Cities + Schools, builds the foundation for academic success, college and career readiness, and civic activism for K-5th grade students. The Y-PLAN methodology engages children in generating innovative solutions to authentic community development challenges. Throughout the process, students apply core academic skills—as they think critically, use their voice, and experience themselves as active participants in shaping the future of their cities and schools.