Year 9 Geographers Planning Local Neighbourhoods

The Commissioner for Children and Young People, Colin Pettit, invited eight of our aspiring Year 9 Geographers to take part in a workshop titled ‘My Place in WA’ at the Boola Bardip Museum. The workshop investigated the concept of the ‘15-minute neighbourhood’, which has been adopted in major cities around the world, including Melbourne. Here is a review of the day’s activities from the students.

The morning began with two guest speakers, Susie and Ben, who are architects specialising in urban planning. They talked to us about ‘place makers’ and urban design. We were challenged by the question, “What do you need in your neighbourhood?”. We decided on a range of desirable amenities to put on our neighbourhood plan for Attadale, highlighting the most important ones first, to ensure a walkable, friendly, and safe neighbourhood.

Next, we took those ideas and planned out where these amenities should be located, and how they were connected to other amenities in the local neighbourhood, to make it a liveable and special place for teenagers. The final activity encouraged us to think about how our neighbourhood is activated and how the spaces can be flexible and adaptable, to make it a place for everyone to enjoy.

We listened to several presentations from other schools including Merredin, Butler, Kalamunda, and Ellenbrook, hearing ideas shared about their neighbourhoods.

We finished the day by exploring the new museum, looking at many exhibits including ones on sea life and bush animals. The experience was a great learning opportunity and was a lot of fun.

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