Best Practice #6: LivadaLAB – 20-30 years old to govern urban green areas

LivadaLAB – how 20-30 years old can participate in governance of urban green areas?!
Since 2014, GREEN SURGE (EU consortium for Connecting People and Nature for Sustainable Cities) has been working together with the Learning Alliance LivadaLab to bring together thirty youth experts, students and unemployed young people (18-30 years old) to develop, test and demonstrate an alternative citizen involvement approach to governing urban green areas in Ljubljana. In a two-year participatory planning process, using a project-based learning approach, the participants managed to substantially increase the range of ecosystem services on the test area of 6,000 m2.
The LivadaLAB project is based on grassroots logic, bottom-up learning and non-hierarchical, active participation. Methods and tools used are:
– project learning (hands-on approach)
– exploring
– experimenting, testing, iterating
– assessment
Every finalized project is fully evaluated as to the set goals, learning experience and achievements.
Target group governing the process
This is a brilliant case study showing what can be achieved if the target group defines and administrates its own needs. The role of the expert is restricted to provide know-how where and when needed in order to gain new knowledge. The vision of LivadaLAB is to pave the ground for a youth centre which is entirely co-managed by young adults.
By including the youth actively in the whole process of managing the lab (youth work, public space and ecosystem services), an active platform for learning, dedication and engagement in building an interdisciplinary working network is guaranteed.
Mojca Fajdiga, Zavod BOB, Slovenija
Foto Credits: Zavod BOB