Democracy and participation, Urban development

Your Own -Youth Town


Who is behind this?

Anastasia Sabatkovskaya

Culture Goes Europe (CGE)- Soziokulturelle Initiative Erfurt e.V.


Who is joining forces?

Center for Independent Social Research (CISR)


Internationale Bauaustellung (IBA) Thüringen


The Minucipality of Zeulenroda-Triebes


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

A lot of European small towns shrink because of demographic and structural changes. Underdeveloped infrastructure, limited employment and mobility options have not much to offer to their young inhabitants. The problem is twofold: youth is not involved into local decision-making and, being used to the paternalistic approach, remains passive, discouraged and lacks creative ideas on improving the situation. The project will empower youngster from several small towns to "re-youth" their locations.

Where will your idea take place?

Zeulenroda-Triebes, Thuringia, Germany; Nikel, Murmansk region, Russia; Kirkeness (Norway, at the border with Murmansk region)

Why does Europe need your idea?

Youngsters and qualified workers leave small industrial towns in search for more attractive (culturally and socially) surroundings, better employment and housing opportunities. The higher life standards for modern youth are represented by available places for creative self-realisation, societal participation and peer-to-peer activities, for cultural and knowledge exchange along with education and employment possibilities. The shrinking towns have not much to offer in this regard.

What is your impact?

The project towns are changed by creating spaces for self-realisation, increasing youth participation in local decision-making. The youth of participating communities is empowered to develop and implement projects aimed on enhancing urban environment and creation of “youth-friendly” spaces, events in the town. Year after: more youngsters remain in their locations for apprenticeship or employment. The unemployed youth in Europe become aware of possibilities offered by small towns.

How do you get there?

The excursion to the Ruhr area (as best practice from ex-industrial region) will open the project and give inspiration to participants. Two 4-days-long participatory planning sessions for youth will be conducted. The 1st session in Germany will be aimed on exploring location on “youth-ability” and develop project ideas in the mixed groups to have different perspectives of locals and foreigners. For the 2nd session in Russia youth from Norwegian partner-town Kirkenes and nearby Russian towns will join the event. The ideas, generated in Germany, will be developed into concrete projects with practical implementation plans. The experts and trainers will support and consult the youth groups during and between events online. The public event with wide media coverage will conclude the project.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Main target group is young people from participating communities, who will be idea/project developers (25-30 persons, will vary in different locations). Primary Target Group: youngsters (15 till 20 persons in each town) who will participate at the project events and establish new small projects locally and act as multiplicators after the project implementation. Secondary Project Group: the youth of the local communities ca. 11% -Germany, ca. 23%-Russia (in total 5000 persons).

What makes your idea stand apart?

The unusual combination of project partners, experts, unique mix of participants from Germany, Norway and Russia create space for innovations. The project is based on findings and expertise from the previous common projects with similar focus, what guarantees quality. The participating communities have not only common history and problems, but share desire to bring changes in the urban surroundings and activate local youth. We are the Europe+: participants come from EU-countries and beyond!

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 53516,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Staff costs (2 project managers, 7 month): 7350,00, Travel and visa costs: 9813,15, Accommodation & loading ( 2 events, 25 participants each): 17250,00, Program costs (experts, trainers, interpreters, renting room and equipment):13157,50, Administration fees(2 NGOs): 5946,33

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

Comments, ideas and advices about participatory youth models (focus on rural youth, deprived areas), as well as examples of the revitalized industrial (mono-towns) are highly welcomed. Recommendation what town in the Ruhr area is better to visit with participants in this regard (we have some ideas, but not decided yet). Any constructive critique and feedback is always a plus!



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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