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henry-mcleishThe Planning & Active Citizenship conference taking place on Thursday 25 October in Edinburgh will bring together education professionals and land-use planners for the first time to look at practical ways in which children and young people can be actively involved in the shaping of their towns and cities from the earliest age. Hosted by former First Minister and Patron of PAS, Henry McLeish – formerly a planner himself – the Planning & Active Citizenship conference will feature addresses from several keynote speakers:

Scottish Government Minister for Learning, Dr Alasdair Allan MSP, will address the conference on how the planning system can add value to the Curriculum for Excellence by helping our young people to become more active citizens in their local communities. “Curriculum for Excellence is supporting our young people to become active and responsible citizens. Active in making a positive contribution to their education, their school and their local community. Today’s conference provides an opportunity to encourage all citizens, starting with young people, to play a more prominent role in the planning process, influencing developments and improving the lives of people in local communities.

Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, will address the conference on the rights of the child and offer unique insights on what is currently a ‘blind spot’: the active participation of children in planning and place-making. “I am strongly committed to creating opportunities for children and young people to exercise their right to express their opinions. I am particularly pleased that the conference is focussing on the role of young people in the planning process as we know how important the environment is to children’s development. I believe their involvement in planning processes will improve the outcomes for planning as well as for children and young people.”

The Planning & Active Citizenship conference will look beyond examples in Scotland and will take Norway’s experience of involving children in the planning system as a case study – and ask if Scotland might learn something from this approach.

Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive, PAS:
“We must work harder to ensure that processes are in place to enable better and more creative community engagement – and to empower people of all ages to have a greater say in the shaping of their environment. Young people are often under-represented in the planning system, yet they will spend the next 50 or 60 years living with the consequences of today’s decisions.”

The conference will also hear contributions from:
Anne Houston, Chief Executive of Children 1st
Craig McLaren, RTPI Scotland
Ross Martin, Centre for Scottish Public Policy
Phil Denning, HMIE

Links to further information
Event date: Thursday 25 October 2012
Venue: Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG