By Debra Flanders Cushing, Author Boulder Blue Line
Many of Boulder’s teens think there are not enough nightlife activities for them in the city and many of Boulder’s children would like more community places to be with and see animals like dog parks and wildlife habitats. These are answers to the question “How can we make Boulder better?” The responses are not surprising given that children and youth are almost always neglected in land use planning. How? They are given little consideration and no opportunity to participate in the process.
Over the last year and a half, the Growing Up Boulder team has worked with children and teens in the community to begin to change this paradigm. Teams of teens have conducted research and already taken action to address issues that affect them. Along the way, we have gained a lot of insight into what young people think of our community. Now through a community-wide survey, we want to hear what people of ALL ages, young and old, think of Boulder as a place to grow up and raise a family. We invite EVERYONE in the Boulder community to answer a few questions by December 10, about how the City of Boulder is as a place for children, teens and families to live. The 5 to 10 minutes it takes will be well worth it. The responses to this community survey will be analyzed and shared with Boulder City Council, Growing Up Boulder’s partners, and anyone else who is interested in learning what young people and those who care about them think is best for Boulder. Already, data we have gathered has led to a new teen night club at 29th Street, the creation of several collaborative murals and plans for a database of teen friendly businesses in town.
Growing Up Boulder, part of a world-wide UNESCO initiative Growing up in Cities, is a collaborative initiative among the University of Colorado, the City of Boulder, Boulder Valley School District, non-profits, businesses and community members. The initiative focuses on making Boulder an even more child- and youth-friendly city by involving young people in local decisions that affect them.
For more information, to obtain paper copies of the survey, or to receive survey results, send us an email. Participate and you will help make Boulder a better place, because a city that works well for children and youth works well for all!
Posted November 11, 2010 on the Boulder Blue Line, www.boulderblueline.org