Youth Participation for Democracy

UngBo, Malmö, Sweden

SDG 10: Reduced inequalitiesSDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities
In Malmö, a collaboration between the city and the construction industry brought together various stakeholders to solve the problem of housing shortages for young people through improved collaboration and a better understanding of each other’s needs.

Increasing global wealth has been coupled with increased inequality, not only in developing countries but also in richer Nordic cities. Inclusion is a key factor for equality. In urban development one measure to increase inclusion, and in the long run, equality is extensive citizen participation. Only by listening to the needs of the population can governments provide the conditions that enable everyone to realise their full potential, harnessing collective benefits, and removing discriminating barriers.

Good practices & solutions

In 2011, the city of Malmö partnered with the construction industry to launch UngBo, a communications project that seeks to further the debate on the shortage of housing among young people. Since its launch, it has brought together stakeholders of the housing market in order to take shared responsibility for this issue. The project has contributed considerable knowledge about the shortage of housing for young citizens. Within the project, studies on how young people wish to live were communicated to the market, and the results were used in housing planning. The results could even to some extent be used in the provision of housing for immigrant groups in the future. UngBo thus provides an example of how the municipality can create links between citizens and constructors.

Outcome & opportunities

The dialogues initiated by UngBo successfully led to a greater understanding of differing viewpoints among stakeholders. The municipality is now exploring how they can take this from the planning phase to the production phase in a planned pilot project. The purpose is to involve people in building their own homes, in order to facilitate the possibility of directly influencing their own situation while at the same time knowledge transfers are taking place and job opportunities are being created.

Lessons learned & recommendations

UngBo sets an example of how municipalities and local government can function as a link between citizens and the construction sector. Identified success factors included conducting needs assessments, understanding other people’s views, and having the municipality take on a facilitating role in the implementation phase.

Related SDG targets
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Project: Nordic Urban Ways