Through its Youth Project, UITP is committing itself in different ways to promote the link between youth and public transport.
The UITP Youth Project creates this link between young people and the public transport sector through the Youth Project Awards, and encourages dialogue between governments and youth groups through the Youth Parliaments.
It also supports youth initiatives to build their advocacy capacities, and provides opportunities for young people to voice their demands through collaboration with international organisations.
There are strong and mutual links between public transport and young users: young people are heavily dependent on public transport, it is often their only way to reach school, working places, sports facilities and any other locations where they live and build their future. And through their views, we can predict how public transport will evolve.
The UITP Youth Parliament initiative recognizes the distinctiveness of youth cultures and ideologies and advocates participatory decision-making processes for youth policies. The Youth Parliament initiative aims to provide opportunities for young people’s full participation in society, and plans to set in place long-term strategic instruments that improve their social opportunities.
The idea of a Youth Parliament was first mooted at UITP’s 57th World Congress in Helsinki. A small delegation from Helsinki University went on stage to comment on the Youth Project Award winners. From there, we decided to recreate similar sessions where young people were invited to participate in important UITP events all over the world and present their views on the subjects discussed during the events.
After the events, they continue to be committed to public transport issues, as Ambassadors of Public Transport, through the respective local UITP Members and Authorities.
Through the Youth Parliament, UITP reaches out to organized and informal youth groups at private and public schools and universities, and young interns dealing with urban, environmental and public transport issues. It helps to create and improve spaces where ideas and experiences are shared, to tap on young people’s creative potential and recognize its uniqueness. Youth participation is also essential to the development of successful programming.
Including young people in issues that directly affect them contributes to their self-confidence while collaboration with adults who share some of their views reinforces their ideas and values. The experience of contributing to a cause, a decision or a group can play a crucial part in developing a sense of responsibility, purpose and self-worth in the young people. This can help prepare young people to exercise the rights and responsibilities of adulthood and citizenship, and develop their sense of identity too.
Since 2005, young people, aged 15 to 24, have been invited to join Youth Parliaments in the following cities from the UITP Regions: Helsinki, Karlsruhe, Guadalajara, Johannesburg, Vancouver, Milan, Istanbul, Taipei, Vienna and Bogota. Each Parliament produced a report at the end of their sessions. These reports have been presented at the closing sessions of UITP events in these cities.
At the next World Congress, a global Youth Parliament comprised of representatives from the 10 Parliaments, and the ones that will join along 2010, will give their feedback on their UITP experience, and advise on the needs and wants of the youths for public transport. For the second time (the previous one was in Vienna, at the 58th UITP World Congress), they will share their ideas all together and communicate their common vision for the future. The Youth Parliament will also deliver the Final Worldwide Report, a comprehensive set of recommendations on public transport planning, policymaking and programming, to decision makers at the Congress to secure the commitment of politicians on youth and public transport policies.
YOUTH PROJECT AWARDS
Through the Youth Project Awards, participants and winners from all over the world have come to recognize UITP as a major actor in promoting changes in their professional lives, as well as the public transport operators, regulators and industry players for their value, efforts and activities in these directions.
The first edition of the Awards 2005-2007, focused on public transport initiatives in favour of young people, preferably realized in collaboration with young citizens. The projects contributed, directly or indirectly, to better mobility (including easy and affordable mobility for teenagers) and social integration for all. Hence, the projects combined public transport with values that are important for the young people, such as social interaction, conviviality, freedom, speed, adventure, pleasure and innovations; and with a direct link to core areas in the young people’s lifestyles such as culture, education, leisure and first jobs.
The Singapore Land Transport Authority won the first International UITP Youth Project Award in the category 'Improving Mobility of Young People' with an educational game developed in an immersive 3D environment.
The second edition of the Awards focused on promoting public transport best practices in favour of youths. The winners were presented with the Awards at the 58th UITP World Congress in Vienna in June 2009.
UITP received 40 projects covering wide-ranging issues, including educational and vocational training, cultural issues, environmental sustainability, safety and security, and social inclusion matters.. The projects were detailed, concrete, modern and innovative. Each project demonstrated very visible results in terms of employment, safety and changing the behaviours of youths and the image of public transport. Projects such as Cuta International Youth Summit on Sustainable Urban Transportation, the Internship Project from Metro Sao Paulo and RATP’s marketing campaign on Imagin’R card werejust some examples of the incredible variety received. The second edition of the Awards focused on promoting public transport best practices in favour of youths. The winners were presented with the Awards at the 58th UITP World Congress in Vienna in June 2009.
COLLABORATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANISATIONS
Today, half of the world’s population is under the age of 25. This includes the largest ever generation of adolescents who are approaching adulthood in a rapidly changing world. And the number and proportion of urban young people is increasing dramatically. That is why one of the focus areas of the UITP Youth Project is to work in collaboration with international organisations and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) worldwide, such as UNESCO and Youth Forums in Europe, Latin America and Canada.
You can find more information and all the activities related to the UITP Youth Project on the website www.youthforpt.org