Youth Leaders Engage in the Future of Austin

This January and February a team of twelve teens, four each from Territory, Austin Coming Together, and Build Inc. are re-imagining public spaces in the Austin neighborhood. These youth leaders are addressing a goal in the Austin Quality of Life Plan: engaging Austin youth to create safe and welcoming public places. (Team pictured above on our first day, hosted by Ratio Architecture)

In the final two weeks these teens will use their own expertise to outline the needs of the Austin neighborhood, where 75% of the group lives. On our last day, the teens will present their vision to community stakeholders. We hope our proposals will generate community support, funding for a summer design studio in Austin, and jobs for young people who want to take the lead in Austin’s future through urban design.

This Saturday February 9 the team will meet at Austin Coming Together and hear about the Austin Quality of Life Plan. We will explore how youth experience public space, and talk about the unique assets and challenges for young people in Austin. The following Saturday the team will head downtown to learn about urban design tools and tactics, and participate in a wayfinding design charrette with a team of professional designers at the Gensler office.

Each partner organization has defined its own path to leadership. Teens who have completed one term with Territory, equal to 80 hours or more of studio practice, are eligible to participate in program planning and can apply for leadership internships like this one. Teens age 16 and older are eligible for summer internships as team leaders and project managers. The Territory teens who have initiated this project in Austin have an average of 380 studio practice hours with Territory. For comparison, that’s more hours in the design studio than the hours in a science or social studies classroom required for high school graduation.

You will meet our team of inspiring youth leaders if you attend Build Territory, our networking fundraiser on February 28, 2019.