PARTISPACE Policy brief no. 1 Spaces and Styles of Youth Participation Key Findings and Recommendations for Policy and Practice

Year of production: 2018

The project “Spaces and Styles of Youth Participation: Formal, non-formal and informal possibilities of young people’s participation in European cities”. PARTISPACE has analysed what participation means for young people in different social positions and life conditions in eight European cities: Bologna (Italy), Eskisehir (Turkey), Frankfurt (Germany), Gothenburg (Sweden), Manchester (UK), Plovdiv (Bulgaria), Rennes (France), and Zurich (Switzerland). The project responds to a major concern in European societies that young people do not participate enough in public affairs which is viewed as potentially undermining the cohesion of democratic societies.

Understanding meanings and motives of young people is crucial for developing more and better ways of encouraging them to become active in public space. PARTISPACE has analysed what young people do in public spaces and what these activities mean to better understand youth participation. Research findings suggest that participation is more than conventional representation, political activity or voluntary work. A broader understanding is needed that recognises the diverse ways in which young people claim being a part of society. This policy brief summarises the key findings and provides recommendations of what can be done to support young people in their political, social and civic participation. It addresses policy makers at local, national and European level as well as all practitioners working with young people in the fields of education or training, youth work, sports, cultural activities or in maintaining public order like the police.



The PARTISPACE project provides empirical knowledge on how to broaden the concepts of participation. The core of this knowledge lies in relating individual biographies of young people and the social spaces in which they act in order to understand the meaning of participation from their perspective.