Teens review blueprints and schematics of Roxbury and Dorchester streets at the Youth Community Design Summit, held last Saturday at the Roxbury YMCA. The young participants teamed with local architects to discuss possible design and development solutions to public safety problems at several neighborhood “hot spots,” such as Upham’s Corner. (Photo courtesy of Boston Architectural College)
Looking to spark the next generation of planners and developers, the Roxbury YMCA last Saturday hosted the first ever Youth Community Design Summit, an event aimed at building a better and safer tomorrow.
One foundational element in that process, according to Roxbury YMCA Executive Director Ego Ezedi, is to showcase new and different educational opportunities.
“We are teaching children about the world of architectural design, a line of work that all too often has not been accessible to urban youth,” said Ezedi. “We are showing a lot of different aspects of architecture, including landscaping, interior design and computer design.”
Ezedi also pointed out that the lessons were not purely derived from books. “We are also offering a lot of intellectual capital,” Ezedi said. “We had folks here who actually work in these areas of architecture.”
Roxbury and Dorchester teens teamed up with local architects enlisted by the Community Design Resource Center (CDRC), a Boston-based nonprofit organization that provides pro bono architectural consultation to businesses and community groups unable to afford such services.
The summit’s objective was to tackle the issue of community safety by giving local youth the opportunity to not only voice their opinions on the safety of their neighborhoods, but also offer real design solutions.
Ezedi said the message was clear: “We want our kids to start thinking about designing their own communities.”(p2)