We have developed several preliminary ideas that policymakers, designers of the built environment, and any other stakeholder could adopt to make public spaces more youth-affirming. These recommendations range from the ways that spaces are regulated to physical amenities. Some of these ideas can already be found in sites in the city. But there is no comprehensive effort to rethink the city through the lens of a teenager’s needs and wants.
When we developed this list of ideas, we did not imagine all of them would exist in the same public space. The first four ideas (Youth Involvement, Social Equity, Safety, and Location) are the most important ones. After that, we see these as recommendations that can be mixed and matched. As this research took place in New York City, many of these recommendations are specific to this city. Even so, we hope this list offers some actionable insights for others outside New York too.
Click on the icons below to learn more about each idea. All icons were drawn by Youth Researcher Natalia Baez.