Urban exploration for young people from Palermo to Ljubljana
Social exclusion is often also conditioned by spatial exclusion, which is reflected both in the sense of being displaced from certain urban areas and in the feeling of powerlessness in influencing the design of these spaces. The use of different participatory methods of urban exploration can, therefore, serve as one tool for empowering socially excluded individuals.
At two youth exchanges in Palermo and field workshops in Ljubljana, we tested solutions together with young people from five different countries, to improve our understanding of the urban context by using innovative tools for exploration and play.
At the first exchange, representatives of organizations in Palermo first tested different methods of exploring cities. The team of prostoRož introduced the board game City Visionary. On the second exchange, young people from each participating country in Palermo learned about the methods we had tested at the previous meeting. In the interim, each organization, along with young people, also explored their local environment. As part of the field workshops in Ljubljana, we produced urban furniture, windmills, and dragons from waste material at the temporary space LivadaLAB, that is managed by the Zavod Bob, and at the Terrain Experimental Space, which we manage. The project ended with a cycling tour in Ljubljana, where we searched for and mapped out locations that could become new spaces for temporary use on the way from Terrain to LivadaLAB. The method we used to map locations is one of the new skills we learned from the Urbex project.
Urbex (urban exploration) is part of a multi-year European project aimed at empowering socially excluded groups. The first part of the project Urbex is aimed at young people and the second part Comensi is aimed at adults.