CYCLES for Sustainability – Children and Youth in Cities, a Lifestyles Evaluation Study

CYCLES for Sustainability – Children and Youth in Cities, a Lifestyles Evaluation Study

Urbanization is one of the defining challenges of this century, with 66 percent of the world’s population expected live in urban areas by 2050. Cities are also youthful places. By 2050, seven out of ten of the world’s youth will live in an urbanizing area. How young people experience cities and the quality of their life is also influenced by four important, recent international agreements: the Paris Agreement on climate change (2015); the Sustainable Development Goals (2015); the Sendai Agreement on Disaster Risk Reduction (2015); and the New Urban Agenda (2015).

Against this international context, a three year study of the experiences of children and young people living in seven diverse cities around the world have been led. CYCLES for Sustainability (Children and Youth in Cities, a Lifestyles Evaluation Study) is led by CUSP, an ESRC-funded Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity at the University of Surrey, United Kingdom, in collaboration with international research partners from: Instituto Akatu, Brazil; the National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan; the University of Canterbury, New Zealand; the Environmental Learning Research Centre, Rhodes University, South Africa; the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh; and Swechha – We For Change Foundation, India.

CYCLES for Sustainability will examine how cities currently support young people to live sustainably and will hear directly from young people themselves, through focus groups, surveys, and multi-media reporting. What conditions do young people identify that help them to live fulfilling urban lives? How do young citizens see their future? What best practices for city planning and community action make the biggest differences to the lives of young people? How can we help cities support young citizens to flourish within the limits of a finite planet? The study will focuses specifically on the lives of 12-24 year olds, which spans an important developmental period during which footprints for energy use and habits for consumption are established, and aspirations and attitudes are formed.CYCLES for Sustainability builds on and extends emerging global comparative research into the lifestyles of young urban residents, including UNEP’s 2011 Global Survey of Sustainable Lifestyles.

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