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Children’s Landscape

The website of ‘Children’s Landscape, Norway’ focuses on the interests of children and youth in planning processes. The site provides many ideas for modifying school playgrounds, institutions and neighbourhoods in urban areas so that they respond to the real needs of children and youth. Other important issues are ‘Architecture for Education’, ‘Green Schools’ and ‘Outdoor Education’. The site also provides many useful links to existing projects of these issues in Scandinavia and other countries.

For more information:

http://www.barnas-landskap.org
http://www.barnaslandskap.blogspot.com/

Contact
Frode Svane

IPA correspondent in Norway
Children’s Landscape
Kampengt.21.
0654, Oslo
Norway
Telephone (47) 92669969
E-mail frode.svane@gmail.com
Porsgrunn Model – A children’s participation project
www.porsgrunn.kommune.no/

Porsgrunn city has since 1991/1992 tried to develop methods to get children and youth to participate locally. This is done during the city’s long-range planning, physical planning and within different departments. The Porsgrunn Projects main goal is to strengthen local democracy. This means developing a positive identity, a feeling of belonging and a habit of particip ation. The main goal is to make use of the children’s and youth’s own resources and competence to engage the grown-ups, because the children are engaged. Ever since 1992 there has been a «children and youth week» at the end of May of each year. During this week there are the council hall meeting, cultural arrangements, workshops and «the Children’s Day». The cultural arrangements are available for each child and every youth. The workshops are for those working with children and youth. In 1993, Porsgrunn Joint Pupils Council (PFE) was established. They look after the children’s and the youths interests across the school districts. As for the Pupils council, PFE not only takes care of school matters, but also children’s interests in the community. In these meetings representatives from the high schools also attend. PFE has taken part in planning and establishing a youth activity house. Recently emphasis has been placed on the maternal and child health centre, and the role it plays for the age-group zero to five. The question has been asked if the centre could serve the community on a broader base, not only when it comes to health, but even councilling parents and strengthening the city’s image. With this in mind each health centre has been supplied with a number of books which will be given free to the children, to stimulate reading. It is felt that this is a long term process, with a perspective of 10-20 years. The systematic work began seven years ago. An evaluation of the work so far comes to the following conclusion:

  • When children and teenagers participate in this non traditional way, all children, not just the «smartest» and most resourceful students get a chance to dominate.
  • While seven years ago not many pupils showed interest in participating in the «pupils council», now, at most schools they must fight hard to get a seat in the council.
  • Children and teenagers are traditionally not interested in «politics». After a while however, they get the feel for participating and are seeking influence. Thus they will search areas where they can develop their interests, and some go into politics, while others get involved in voluntary work.

Contact
Porsgrunn City Council
Porsgrunn
Norway
Telephone 33547095
E-mail kjell.lillestol@porsgrunn.kommune.no