EYP2040: young people at the heart of regeneration

21 Aug 2019

Young people’s neighbourhoods matter to them, as numerous studies have revealed. But regeneration programmes often fail to engage effectively with them and young people are left having had little or no impact on the proposals.

At Euston, we have set out to do things differently. Lendlease is engaging with young people on their own terms and in ways that are most useful and effective for them. At the heart of this project is an ambition for young people to design a youth engagement programme that can reach out to people their own age in their own neighbourhood. This is combined with a combination of listening, training and analysis that gives young people real influence as well as providing a model for anyone working in youth engagement on any regeneration site.  

EYP2040, short for Euston Youth Panel 2040, was the platform that allowed them to do just that. Over four sessions, a group of twenty young people aged 14-20 years old took part. They took their role seriously, getting involved in design training and sharing their lived experience of the area. They were paid for their time as a way to respect their expertise, motivate attendance and allow us to work hard as equals to a common brief. They were also ably supported by youth workers from four local youth organisations who were introduced to the project before it commenced and helped to design the programme. 

The redevelopment of Euston itself is a generational project in an area where young people make up more than a third of the local population. They have particular insights and know their neighbourhoods very well. 

We have heard young people gradually reveal their desire for space where they can freely choose what they do - and feel safe doing so. They welcome the presence of adults in their world. They tell you of their fears about knife crime but also their frustration that spaces become unavailable and unsafe after dark. 

The full report demonstrates how young people are able to communicate effectively with a professional team, engage in complex urban analysis and potentially have a meaningful impact on large-scale masterplanning. Designers and developers alike can learn from these findings to build a better future.