Lorena F. Axinte, Early Stage Researcher in Sustainable City Regions
Now that the ten local authorities (together with the Welsh and UK governments) have signed the City Deal, Cardiff Capital Region can start funding different projects meant to benefit the people and places of South East Wales. This collaboration is definitely a new way of working, not only because it brings together the various councils, but also because it involves long-term planning and commitment. At the same time, it unfolds under the auspices of the ‘Well-being of Future Generations Act’, a legislative Act that inscribes sustainability at the heart of all decisions taken by public bodies in Wales.
My research looks at the city-region and the Act, focusing specifically on the youth (aged 16-24) of the area. Since they are the ‘first future generation’ to be affected by the decisions taken now at this level, young people should get the chance to express their views and engage in the design of the new plans. I am hoping that my research and the workshops I will organise can be a step in this direction.
Despite painting an incomplete picture, this analysis highlights the importance of looking in detail at what we might think of as a unitary group of people. Cardiff Capital Region’s youth is extremely diverse, and the approaches to improve their wellbeing, as well as to attract and retain them in the city-region, must also be. The data needs deeper analysis and interpretation, but this will only be possible as I continue to discover the city-region and its young people. For this reason, I welcome any comments, critiques or recommendations. I hope that ‘Cardiff Capital Region Youth Profile’ marks the beginning of a new conversation, one that celebrates young people and empowers them to engage in the development of the places they inhabit.
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