Children and teenagers… “We want to decide!”

The forums in the participatory process for children and teenagers in Barcelona aged from 8 to 17 get under way, within the context of the city’s role as the European Capital of Democracy.

15/04/2024 13:29 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

“Democracy for children and teenagers” and “We’re the adults of the future” are some of the slogans identifying the participatory process “We want to decide!”  for youngsters between the ages of 8 and 17. The first of four forums in the process was held today, 15 April 2024, in the District Office in Gràcia. The four sessions are being held this month to foster more active participation in the city’s affairs.

As part of the programme for the European Capital of Democracy, the aim of this initiative is to listen to the concerns of children and teenagers in the city, promote their involvement and take their input into account for city policies.

Youngsters at 26 primary and secondary schools and 10 facilities (open centres and children’s centres) have been working for several weeks through informative workshops based around two questions:

  • What city affairs do we want to take part in?
  • How do we want to be involved in them?

To answer these questions, the youngsters discussed the things that worry them and interest them the most and put forward specific proposals so that they can have a voice and be part of the decisions in the city.

In the first session, involving secondary school students aged from 13 to 16, a vote showed the main concerns were housing, sports activities and education and knowledge, in that order. The proposals the youngsters worked on collectively with the greatest consensus were:

  • Social media and citizen participation.
  • Interviews and surveys for teenagers.
  • Awareness campaigns against cyberbullying and the protection of personal data.

Among children aged from 8 to 11, the workshops ahead of the forums found that their main concerns were bullying at school, poverty, inequality and the environment.

In the rest of the sessions, open to the public, the youngsters will continue to exchange opinions to choose the most interesting proposals to put to Barcelona City Council, so that they can be taken into consideration and their implementation assessed. In addition, a commission made up of the same participants will monitor the execution of the proposals agreed on over the course of the next school year.

The purpose of the participatory process is to create new forms and spaces for participation by children and young people and voice their right to actively take part in the city and the community.

The calendar for the forums is:

Secondary school sessions

  • 15 April, at the District Office in Gràcia (Pl. Vila de Gràcia, 2)
    Participating schools (instituts): Vila de Gràcia (Gràcia), Menéndez y Pelayo (Sarrià – Sant Gervasi), Les Corts (Les Corts) and Joan Brossa (Horta-Guinardó).
  • 18 April, at the Canòdrom (Concepción Arenal, 165)
    Participating schools (instituts): Alzina (Sant Andreu), FEDAC Horta (Horta-Guinardó), Col·legi Sant Gabriel (El Besòs i el Maresme) and Institut Escola Antaviana (Nou Barris).

Primary school sessions

  • 19 April, at the District Office in Ciutat Vella (Pl. Vicenç Martorell, 1)
    Participating schools (escoles): Cervantes, Drassanes and Alexandre Galí (Ciutat Vella), Mare de Déu del Roser and Diputació (L’Eixample) and Montseny (Gràcia).
  • 29 April, at the District Office in Sant Martí (Pl. Valentí Almirall, 1)
    Participating schools (escoles): Els Porxos and La Pau (in Sant Martí de Provençals and La Verneda i la Pau, respectively, with the project Imcitizen), Antaviana (Nou Barris) and Paideia (Les Corts).


Further information