2023 marks a decade of the AoU's Young Urbanist network, whose launch event took place in August 2013. Fittingly, last week we hosted our Young Urbanist Summer Party on the Alan Baxter building rooftop, which was a lovely opportunity to bring together the incoming generation of place practitioners, including founding Young Urbanists and those who have joined along the way.
Young Urbanists (YUs) within the Academy are made up of students and early career professionals that are keen to develop their knowledge of the principles, techniques and processes of good urbanism. YUs are interested and passionate in fields such as planning and design, development and globalisation, community and politics, and the arts.
YUs will network with their peers and meet Academicians. Academy events include opportunities for Young Urbanists to present their ideas, collaborate on projects and share learning with Academicians.
Roles within the Academy
The Young Urbanists have their own Steering Committee who lead on YU activity. Additionally to this, the AoU has in the past year added Young Urbanist members to its Board of Directors (Andrew Bailie and Savini Rajapakse), and to the Here & Now Journal working group (Harrison Brewer and Zoe Chazen). We're also thrilled that this year we have appointed our first YU Deputy Assessor, Lucy Gara, for the Urbanism Awards.
Young Urbanists are encouraged to get stuck in throughout the AoU's programme of events. This year we had a YU curated panel session on Intergenerational Neighbourhoods at Congress in Cambridge, and so far in 2023 Young Urbanists have made up half of our Awards assessment teams.
Most years since the Young Urbanists were founded, they have organised a long weekend cycling trip which offers an opportunity to get to know different towns and cities across the UK and Europe, and experience how their travel infrastructure varies.
This June they cycled from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Trieste, Italy, both previous Urbanism Awards finalists. Other cycle trip destinations have included Freiburg, Frome, Malmo, and Marseille.
Small Grants Scheme
Every year Young Urbanists are invited to submit a project proposal in application for a funding grant. This year's awarded projects were Empowering Local Voices: Diversifying London's Public Realm through Small Grants, Exploring the Community-Led Regeneration Model in Scotland, and Unseen At Night: individual representations of queer and feminine (femme) space.
Academician / Young Urbanist Mentoring Programme
The Mentoring Scheme pairs up the AoU's Academician and Young Urbanist members, allowing early career urbanists to build relationships with senior practitioners and receive support and guidance as they develop their professional journeys.
The next cycle of applications for Academician Mentors will open soon, and YU Mentees can apply until 30 September 2023.