Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality.

Accepted Paper:

Urban co-creation: tracking possibilities and obstacles of children's democratic engagement.  
Sandra Hillén (University of Gothenburg)

Paper short abstract:

This paper highlights children as co-creators of their urban environment and explores what happens if children participate in actions actually meant for adults using the concept of childism (Wall 2012). Questions about age and civiv engagement in the field of urban planning can then be addressed.

Paper long abstract:

This paper highlights what happens if young people are invited to participate in democratic processes and test democratic tools aimed mainly to adults. Democracy itself is a problematic concept, regarding on who defines it, but it still holds the power of being a strong analytical instrument, especially in relation to age. Through examples from a research project aimed to build connections between city planners, researchers and a suburban school, this paper addresses issues about power relations, agency and governmental practices. The choice of the concept childism is a way to challenge norms about non-adults, to transform understandings and practices of all humans, and thereby acknowledge children's experience (Wall 2012). Children's exclusion from democratic processes can thereby be regarded as a lack in the democratic system, rather than a lack of matureness in children themselves, and this relates to questions of what is expected, desired and predicted in different stages of life. Despite the fact that there are tools intended to include children's perspective in planning processes, tools for participations in these processes are mainly aimed at adults. The research addresses this problem in several ways. If children´s participation in planning is a desirable goal, could planning be included in the educational curricula and/or should city planners make room for children in all processes of civic participation that precede planning?


Wall, J. (2012). Can democracy represent children? Toward a politics of difference. Childhood, 19(1), 86-100.

Panel Age03
Tracking age in a transforming world
  Session 1 Wednesday 17 April, 2019, -