Children and Adolescence shape their quarter
The youth participation project "Your Place - Nextwilhelmsburg Junior" has given children and young people from Wilhelmsburg Kirchdorf the opportunity to get directly involved in planning their district. Their efforts have resulted in the design of the "MultiCooltiPark", an attractive spot and meeting place behind the new Kirchdorf Youth Centre, which encourages visitors to play, relax, learn, and explore.
"Your Place - Nextwilhelmsburg" is one of the creative participatory projects run by the IBA Hamburg for children and teenagers between nine and seventeen. In a four-stage process, they plan and design an area of open space behind Kirchdorf Youth Centre. One part of the project focused on teaching urban planning methods and approaches, while another sought to strengthen personal qualities among the young people, such as building group dynamics, trusting in one's own abilities, and fostering a sense of identification with their district. Over four different project levels - orientation, surveying, planning, and public relations - the participants were directly involved in the practical elements of urban planning processes. For months, thirteen children and teenagers from the Kirchdorf district met several times a week, under the guidance of urban planners and landscape architects, to ponder, discuss, research methodically, plan, and ultimately present their ideas, results, and their own model design. "By testing the limits of what can be achieved, and experiencing the ability to shape their own environment, many of the participants have gained the motivation to plan their own lives beyond the project. It has been an important experience for them," says Rajiv Patwardhan, managing director of Nexthamburg UG, who is in charge of the Nextwilhelmsburg project.
The results presented by the group of young planners came to the attention of the Hamburg-Mitte District Authority and were incorporated into official planning. A park bench, the first element of the MultiCooltiPark, is already in place, and a barbeque area has been set up in the grounds of the Youth Centre. Another barbeque area is set to be installed in the near future within the park itself. There will also be a 130 metre running track, a football pitch, a ping-pong table, backgammon tables, and hammocks.
The park was created in 2013 by the Hamburg-Mitte District Authority. Until spring 2013, the area was used as temporary facilities of the Elbe Island School. This has formed part of the new Gateway to the World Education Centre.