By The Blueprint Collective, London Borough of Brent
A charter written by young adults, for young adults, to develop public spaces for their generation.
In February 2018, the London Borough of Brent was awarded the title of London Borough of Culture for 2020. Brent’s winning bid stood out because it unashamedly placed young people at its heart – promising an exploration of what culture means to them in the 21st century. Fast-forward two years and there are over 100 young people driving Brent’s year of culture. This group of young people are known as Brent 2020’s ‘Blueprint Collective’. A self-described part-pressure group, part think tank who are invested in every aspect of Brent 2020.
This charter is not guidance. This charter is not supplementary, nor is it made of recommendations. It is a list of demands; outlining the hopes, aspirations, and fears of a demographic that is so often misunderstood and ignored by decision-makers. This charter cannot speak for young people across the borough, or city, so instead it forces an opening through which those voices might be urgently heard and valued. Though this charter speaks to power, its aim is to be spoken by others like us. Young people who might join our movements or start others like it. Young, disenfranchised people, who may not even realise their own disenchantment or how integral their participation could be to making a radical change.
ESTABLISH! Take us – and local young adults like us – into account when designing and managing public space. “Recognise us and the name we’re making for ourselves! Look at us at eye-level and not in the way society thinks of us.”
CHALLENGE! New resources and opportunities should be shared throughout the borough – not just in Wembley Park. “The work shouldn’t stop here. Equally spreading resources, genuine attempts to share opportunities, that’s where the gain is. Beyond Wembley Park.”
INFORM! Share knowledge of local opportunities (for work and also advocacy) with young people to empower them. “There’s not enough information for young people on local jobs, career opportunities, and activities. We don’t know what we don’t know, so these spaces should also become ways of making it make sense!”
AFFIRM! Making the case for spaces that are for and by us. “These spaces should boldly say that they belong to us and not for big organisations to claim! Let us run the programmes.”
COLLECTIVISE! We want to encourage more young people to be the change they want to see. “We need to stand together, to take up space, in order to make a change! It’s time to come together in spaces, organisations, and movements where other young people can also pull up and come through.” “We are taking up space! This is our time to stand up together and take control to implement this change.”
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Blueprint Collective authors