The kultúrAktív Association ran a pilot project in the town of Törökbálint, inviting high school students performing school community service (‘SCS’) to take an active role in city development processes. The program was part of the Public Space Development Day, an innovative event organized by the Municipality of Törökbálint with the goal to involve local residents in city development processes.
The objective of the four-session community service project developed by kultúrAktív was to fully engage the students in the process design and implementation rather than to simply provide them with a prepared outline, thus allowing them to encounter the challenges and grasp the essence of participation. The students were tasked with reaching out to their peers and close acquaintances, assessing their needs, and planning and implementing an exhibition. The themes of the exhibition, staged during the Public Space Development Day, included developing the public spaces of Törökbálint, presenting the spaces being planned, and collaboratively defining the future of the public space below Kálvária Hill that is awaiting planning.
The students had the opportunity to discuss intervention ideas with other youth involved in the planning process, and to inform the decision-makers about the development suggestions that emerged. This way, the students performing community service provided an opportunity for their peers to participate in city development by collecting their opinions, which may now be taken into consideration in the design of the park and other city planning processes.
The methodology, which was developed as a combination of community service and community-based planning practices, was awarded the second prize at the competition „Segítő diákok” (Helpful Students) 2017 – Best practices of host organizations by the New Europe Foundation and the Hungarian Institute for Educational Research and Development.
For further details about the project click here.