It is increasingly recognizing youth as a primary stakeholder group in the planning field and the topic of young people participation has become common during last decades. There is a number of studies providing the contribution of young people and requiring the engagement of them in the urban planning process. However, the understanding of youth participation is still limited in practice and the traditional planning has neglected the role of young people as an essential part of its process. As a result, it remains the challenge to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and practical approaches. The study endeavors explaining the impact of young people on participatory activities in the community development at the neighborhood level in Pristina, Kosovo. The central purpose of the study is to recognize the potential of youth participation in the decision-making process, particularly in public spaces projects. The main motivator to choose Pristina is because of the reconstruction process with an emergent acting from the whole population in which the proportion of young people is the highest in Kosovo. Moreover, the paper aims to pave the way for building a study regarding the practice of youth participation and focusing on the impacts of them on the community development in Pristina. The research carried out two homogenous case studies of public space projects in Pristina with the qualitative methodology. In those cases, it investigated young participants aged 7-18 by applying three methods: interview, observation, and secondary analysis in order to collect qualitative data from interactions with youth. The fieldwork lasted more than one month from July to August 2017 in Pristina, Kosovo. The result of the research provided the explanations how youth participation affects the public space projects via internal and external factors. Analysis indicated that the internal factor combined capacities of young people that the planning process requires: having interest in participating, technical skills, and communicative skills. Youngsters participated in the projects demonstrated their capacities such as observation skills, analysis and critical thinking skills, or modeling and drawing in a range of participatory activities. Furthermore, the key findings pointed out the roles of the youths and the conditions to involve in these projects, which played as the external factors. The connection of internal and external elements led to the variety of impacts of youth participation on the community development.

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Zuijderwijk, L. (Linda)
Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies

Ton le, H. (Hoang). (2017, September). The potential of youth participation in Pristina, Kosovo. Retrieved from