Many young people today feel that are distant from nature due to the rushing lifestyle ofurban centres, where sufficient green spots often lack. Distancing from nature, especially during the COVID 19 quarantine, has caused people to suffer from various physical and mental problems, from which they might possibly recover only through reconnecting with nature (Baral, 2020). As a result, young people seem to have underdeveloped the sense of environmental culture, which includes the acquisition of conscientious attitude towards nature, the mindset of realizing and appreciating the artistry and richness of the environment, the ability to organize environmentally competent actions, to adopt an active lifestyle, and express intolerance to manifestations that act against nature (Ernazarov, 2019).
The need for young people to reconnect with nature is critical. Many times, youth organisations have organized trekking sessions and other outdoor sessions where young people were amazed by the landscape, due to the lack of connection with nature. What also rises as a need is to promote awareness to young people concerning the origin of food and the process behind it. If young people were more aware of what it takes to grow, harvest, process and distribute a single vegetable, it would prevent them from developing food waste behaviours.
Nowadays, cities are not providing enough green spaces for citizens, while the ones already established are not used at their full potential and are not maintained properly. A report has showcased that urban green spaces are regarded as contributors of improved quality of life of citizens (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). If young people had the chance to get actively involved with these urban green spaces, the benefits towards them and the city would be of utmost significance. The establishment of common gathering spaces for young people would also help them develop social bonds with each other.
The above conditions gave birth to the idea of Urban Youth Gardens, aiming at reconnecting young people with nature while at the same revamping the green spaces of cities by teaching young people how to utilize public spaces and turn them into urban gardens.
The objectives of the project are the following:
– To increase the sense of responsible, active citizenship in young people and highlight the importance of urban green spaces for gardening.
– To help youth reconsider food waste prevention and cultivate an ecological mindset.
– To provide hands-on experience to youth and youth workers that will benefit not only them, but also their organization by developing agricultural projects together with them.
– To create common spaces in the urban infrastructures where citizens can relax and enjoy nature.
– To create municipal public spaces that will flourish with green spaces which will be maintained frequently by the community itself.
We hope that you find the material on this website useful and that you will make use of it with the students or youth that you work with. If you encounter any difficulties, feel free to contact us.
Erasmus+ aims at boosting skills and employability, and modernizing Education, Training and Youth work.
Education, training and non-formal youth learning are essential to creating jobs and improving Europe’s competitiveness. Over last seven years, Erasmus+ provided €14.7 billion to strengthen education, training, youth and sport in Europe, allowing more than 4 million young people to gain experience and skills by studying, training or volunteering abroad. The programme also supported over 125,000 institutions and organisations to work with peers in other countries to innovate and modernize teaching practice and youth work. Together they helped ensure that young people and adults get the skills they need to succeed in today’s world.
The general objectives of Erasmus+ contribute to the achievement of:
– The objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy, including the headline education target;
– The objectives of the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (ET 2020), including the corresponding benchmarks;
– The sustainable development of Partner Countries in the field of higher education;
– The overall objectives of the renewed framework for European cooperation in the youth field (2010-2018);
– The objective of developing the European dimension in sport, in particular grassroots sport, in line with the EU work plan for sport;
– The promotion of European values in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty on the European Union.
This project was funded by the Erasmus+ cycle 2021-2027.