Local Youth as Urban Development Actors
The Establishment of a Centre for Youth and Socioculture in Görlitz
One of the two German case studies is Second Attempt e.V., a non-profit association promoting youth and socioculture in the town Görlitz. By exploring this case, we aim to contribute to the RELOCAL research question: What impact can place-based local actions have on a fair and equitable distribution of resources – and opportunities to use them – within a locality? The middle-sized town Görlitz is located at the border to Poland and has long suffered from outmigration, population ageing and high unemployment rates. In this context, Second Attempt e.V. is an interesting case for the potential of a local association by and for young people, which seeks to provide youth with the opportunities for constructive democratic engagement.
Next to creating open spaces for free-time, cultural, and educational activities, the organisation actively lobbies for the interests of young people in urban development. Thereby, one important achievement has been to take over the mandate for the establishment of a Centre for Youth and Socioculture in Görlitz. We argue that due to their strategic and organizational learning capacity, Second Attempt e.V. has a specific potential for creating impact in the locality by promoting localised resources and involving vulnerable population groups into urban development.