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Young Cities

Young Cities

Strong Cities’ youth pillar, Young Cities, fosters collaboration between young people and local governments to address the most pressing issues in their communities. Building on the Strong Cities experience with supporting cities globally, and pioneering youth activism programming led by the Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN), Young Cities is fostering unique and collaborative solutions to address the challenges of hate, polarisation and extremism.

Why a Youth Focus?

Young people are uniquely placed to effect change, yet they are frequently excluded from local decision-making processes and frustrated by limited opportunities for cooperation. Young Cities works in partnership with young people and local governments to enhance youth-led, shared solutions to community challenges such as hate, extremism, polarisation, and violence. By working simultaneously with both groups – youth and local government – Young Cities fosters a shared understanding of local youth issues, facilitates new opportunities for cooperation, and ultimately enhances both groups’ capacity to tackle community-level challenges.

Local Partners

Local partner organisations are integral to the implementation of the Young Cities programme in the countries in which it works. They ensure that youth participants receive the continuous support and guidance they need to build their projects from the ground up, tackling real issues in relevant and impactful ways. Local partners help further tailor the programme to their context, connect it to key community actors, and play a vital role in fostering creative talent among young people.

Young Cities provides [youth peacebuilders] a chance of collaboration between the county government, national government, and youth in different communities or localities.

Khadija Abdallah Mohamed—Former Local Programme Coordinator, Kenya

One of the things that really surprised me about the Young Cities programme is the ability of the programme to allow young people to discover their abilities, to discover their potential.

Yusuf Lule Mwatsefu—Executive Director, HURIA

I’m so grateful for this space and platform to connect with and learn from other young leaders from such diverse backgrounds. Before this, we were all on our own social, professional and local bubbles, but it’s been really inspiring to break out of that and see our commonalities and shared vision for our country.

Young Cities Pakistan participant

Overall the workshop was very well-managed. It was balanced properly with different mediums of delivery for the content of the modules. This enabled an immersive learning experience, tied with aspects of coaching & mentoring. It solidified & reinforced our learning as a group to shape our project plan for effective implementation. The concept of introducing buddy teams was brilliant, especially the way the pairing was done keeping in mind our geographical locations & project plans. It stimulated learning & helped networking, as all group members shared their learnings & experiences. Due to diverse schedules, it was difficult to manage the training sometimes; however, the team of Young Cities & Hive Pakistan was super accommodating, which eased our journey. All in all, this has been a holistic experience & I look forward to the in-person sessions in Lahore!

Young Cities Pakistan participant

The environment, the training and the support and feedback we get is great and we see how we as young people can make a difference.

Young Cities North Macedonia participant

Cities are often on the margins of discussions about security or prevention, but first on the line of response when threats are realised. In 2015, our municipality was the target of groups intent to undermine the coexistence and stability of our municipality and country as a whole. With Strong Cities, we managed to bridge the gap between capacities and needs on the ground, and to engage more actively in preventing violent extremism, hatred and polarisation in our community.

Maksim Dimitrievski—Mayor of Kumanovo, North Macedonia

Is your city a Strong City?

Strong Cities membership is open to local authorities at the city, municipal or other subnational level. Membership is free of charge.