SCI Youth Intern Profile #1: Emma Cohlmeyer

In the lead up to the United Nations International Youth Day on August 12th, we will be profiling 5 of our interns and the work they have done to support youth-led development around the world.

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Name: Emma Cohlmeyer

Age: 26

Hometown: Cookstown, Ontario

Internship Cohort: Feb-Aug 2010

Host City: Colima, México

During Emma’s internship in Colima, México, she developed and implemented a participatory planning process for the re-design and revitalization of a significant local and historic park. This community-based approach to planning emphasized the participation and inclusion of the community; neighbours, community leaders and very importantly, the local youth.

Along with her colleagues, Emma targeted the youth population specifically by going to them in their environment: schools and organized sports teams, rather than waiting for them to come to her. She conducted asset-mapping and vision-mapping activities for the park re-design. The final community vision is showcased in a park mural that was designed, prepared and painted by youth.

With the involvement and participation of over 400 community members, Emma re-installed a sense of pride and ownership in the communities public space. She facilitated a change in the traditional planning process to one that is more participatory in nature and significantly impacted the way that future planning and development projects will be conducted in the city.

What’s Next? Emma will begin her Master of Planning at the University of Toronto in September with a focus on urban design.

Thank you, Emma, from All of Us at Sustainable Cities International!

To see more about the participatory planning projects and youth involvement in Colima, please check out a previous blog featuring a great video by Colin Nekolaichuk (another great intern) that features some of Emma’s work: The Art of Participatory Planning.

Emma’s internship host in Colima was IPCo (Planning Institute of Colima).

There’s a great article featuring Emma’s projects on the University of Guelph website here.

For more information in Spanish, visit the Imagine Colima blog.


About sustainablecitiesnetwork

Sustainable Cities International is a registered not-for-profit organization based in Vancouver, Canada. Operating since 1993, the mission of Sustainable Cities is to catalyze action on urban sustainability with cities around the world. We work by connecting and mobilizing people through the process of co-creating. We facilitate a thriving, international network of cities that act as urban laboratories: adopting, testing and improving on innovations. Ideas are accelerated through sharing of experience and cities are making transformational change a reality
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