Urban Solutions Seminar 2012

What are the social challenges in urban areas and how can youth work interventions help overcome these?

Date & venue

  • From 29 May to 2 Jun 2012
  • Live seminar in Birmingham, UK - virtually on blog and Twitter.

Aims of the seminar

To reflect upon social challenges in urban areas and the role of the youth work in addressing or preventing them.

  • To discus and reflect upon the main challenges in urban areas
  • To reflect on recent riots (their causes and consequences) in big European cities
  • To bring together different stakeholders and see how we can cooperate better and offer possible solutions
  • Getting to know local reality and sharing best practices
  • Analysing the role of youth work in urban areas and what youth workers can do
  • New forms of youth work in urban areas

Outcomes & Evaluation

"I am motivated to develop new future work, more aware of the situation, leant about other parts of urban areas."

"It was  useful to get to know the best and worst practices and get to know that around the world others are trying to solve the same."

“Now, I know Birmingham is a multicultural, multilingual, multinational city, with a big unemployment and with a wonderful net of youth work”.

"Enjoyed the seminar, it was a great way to meet key stakeholders.

  • Those are just some important issues, ideas, methods that Urban Solutions participants took home. To find more what did they learn and how did they experience Urban Solutions Seminar, download here the evaluation summary!
  • Urban Solutions Seminar, via Twitter, actively reached out to involve more people in the discussions via our live blog at the seminar - where you can still consult all shared urban resources: http://urbansolutions.posthaven.com/
  • All intrested in could also stay updated via theSALTO Inclusion & Diversity Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SALTOInclusionDiversity
  • All contributions were projected on big screen at the seminar and it was amazing to have all things going up at the same time as it was happening.
  • The participants had a chance to discover a local reality by visiting some very inspiring local/youth/art/sport and cultural organisations.
  • The professional social media team also made a short video documenting the process: Urban Solutions in 5 minutes.
  • The content and results of the seminar is included into SALTO Inclusion Urban Research & Publication. It gives an overview of social challenges and current situation in urban areas, policy documents, best practices and recommendations for ways forward. Download pdf.

Questions addressed

  • What are the main social challenges for young people in (sub)urban areas (poverty, unemployment, migration, ghettoization) and how can we overcome those.
  • What are the possible causes/consequences of the recent raids in London, Paris, etcetera. How can we prevent this in the future.
  • Has youth work an answer to urban challenges? Are we ready to deal with the situation? Whose problem is it?
  • What youth work interventions have been tried and what can we learn from them?
  • What can youth work do? And what are its limits?


Who was there - participants' profile

The seminar brought together 33 participants, amongst which:

  • Policy makers - representatives of the cities and statutory authorities of the municipality's youth services
  • Youth workers directly working with youth in disadvantaged (sub)urban areas
  • Police - community officers from disadvantaged (sub)urban areas
  • Researchers working on topic of youth in urban areas
  • National Agencies' staff with experience and motivation to work on a topic

A truly multi -- faceted group looking at multi-faceted approaches to challenges in urban areas.


The "Urban Solutions Seminar" is co-organised by SALTO Inclusion and SALTO Cultural Diversity, the UK and Polish national agencies for the Youth in Action programme. It is part of SALTO Inclusion's strategy on urban youth interventions (2012-13).

The organising team was composed of 1 facilitator, 2 researchers, 2 social media staff and SALTO and National Agency staff.

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