UN Habitat’s United Nations Human Settlements Programme has a policy to provide young people with opportunities to voice their concerns and opinions about climate issues, governance and urban development.
Haring Woods Studio was invited by the UN Habitat Youth & Partners Section to develop our Place on Earth concept as an international programme to support this policy. The project was presented at UN Habitat in Nairobi in 2009.
Place on Earth was a creative engagement process developed by Haring Woods Studio to capture the perceptions of people in cities around the world about social, cultural, economic and environmental issues. The process evolved from our many years working in creative public consultation, delivering innovative arts-led projects providing influential data to communities, local government and private sector partners.
Place on Earth was geared to establishing project teams in cities around the world aiming to involve thousands of young people, their families and friends directly in creative activities. This growing global Place on Earth constituency would produce an international network of collaborators, a unique body of research outcomes, quantifiable data, website knowledge-sharing materials and the Place on Earth collection of artworks – all with the aim of positioning the voices of young men and women to influence policy for sustainable development and delivery. People’s awareness, understanding and fears about current issues as they affect them in local and global contexts would be used to inform UN delegates and decision and policy makers.
With Place on Earth, we were engaging head long with the most challenging global problems, not by protest, not by conflict but by helping people communicate their aspirations and ideas for dealing with the impact of global warming and climate change, by adaptation, mitigation and most importantly through creativity.
Sadly, the project was never realised due to staff changes at UN Habitat Youth & Partners Section. We include this project on our website as a reference to how we developed new engagement methodologies.