YouthScore is both an engagement tool and a metric to evaluate streets, places and neighbourhoods based on their youth friendliness. The tool uses quantitative and qualitative methods to assess criteria that youth identify as important features of safe, welcoming, sustainable, and enjoyable urban places. It was developed for youth, by youth based on principles of youth participation & co-creation of solutions for better urban planning and child well-being outcomes. The YouthScore can be used by any age in any setting: KidScore is available for ages 12 and under and YouthScore for ages 13 and older.
Why create a youthscore?
Youth are an important segment of urban populations and will represent 60% of urban dwellers worldwide by 2030 (Source: United Nations), but are underrepresented in planning, design and decision-making processes. The purpose of the YouthScore is to identify youth priorities and perspectives for creating better urban places for all, and for participants to build critical skills in problem solving, design, data literacy, and civic participation.
Using the youthscore
With continued use, the YouthScore data index grows and strengthens as an evaluation metric of youth-friendly places. It has been used to investigate neighbourhoods by youth from Canada, Europe, and China with a focus on neighbourhoods throughout Toronto, Canada and Frankfurt, Germany.
The YouthScore process consists of three stages:
Pre-survey: Completed by select youth to help add to the variables of the survey and to ensure weighting reflects the values of the participants.
On-Site Survey: Youth conduct a site investigation walk and evaluate the youth-friendliness of a place, street, or area through a data collection process using the online YouthScore survey which produces a YouthScore and five subscores out of 100.
Design Solutions: Based on the outcomes from the YouthScore survey, youth create design solutions to raise the YouthScore of their place, area, or street, and present their YouthScore data and designs to a panel of 5 professionals.
YouthScore participants tagging their likes and dislikes while on a site walk