Co-seeding our future: children’s agency in rewilding urban spaces – a proposed project for 2017

“Young people are rarely invited to have their voice heard on things that matter. We are described as having potential, as though our power to bring about change lies dormant. We are proclaimed as being our world’s future, as though we don’t exist in the present. (Imogen Morrissey, age 21, Plan International Youth Ambassador, Australia).

“How can co-creating community green spaces with children enhance wellbeing and generate custodianship?”

2016-image-outer-bounds-sarah-walker-17CoSeeding our future examines the effect that children’s contribution to their local neighbourhoods has on building sustainability awareness and custodianship. The research identifies pathways to linking environmental education and ecological stewardship to climate change adaptation and human resilience by engaging children in the creative and practical application of rewilding urban spaces.

CoSeeding our future supports children as co-creators and contributors of place with an aim for generating greater wellbeing and custodianship through the co-creation of two children’s gardens. The study will produce and evaluate two neighbourhood case studies (Carlton & Ballarat) where children (ages 8-12) contribute to having agency in their future, including their ability to catalyse environmental action, influence community, and build social cohesion.

The project will employ cutting-edge thinkers, Indigenous leaders, cultural institutions, landscape designers, urban place makers, artists, and scientists to implement new strategies that directly foster children’s capabilities for civic engagement and environmental responsibility.

2016-image-outer-bounds-kate-kantor-1AIMS:

  • To explore opportunities for the impact of sustainability education to extend beyond the school gate and contribute to the wider community;
  • To examine how children’s contribution to their local neighbourhood increases biodiversity, generates wellbeing and builds custodianship;
  • To develop and deliver practice based scientific and artistic methods that link with the Victorian curriculum and support schools and community organisations to engage with global issues (such as climate change) in positive, creative, constructive and effective ways;
  • To determine how children’s sustainability actions and appreciation of plant life and biodiversity learnings can be effectively transferred to home and local community settings (across inner city and regional centres).

Partners: Sustainability Victoria (SV), Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), Polyglot Theatre, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA), Museum Victoria (MV), Friends of Ballarat Botanical Gardens (FBBG).

Currently this project building on the Running Wild pilot and is aiming to secure funding to run in 2017-2019.

Co-seeding the future