The Southeast Valley Community Plans Update team paid special attention to dialoguing with youth in the three Plan Areas. This constituency is not typically involved or represented in planning efforts, but will hopefully thrive in these neighborhoods for decades to come. During our Listen phase, we have talked with over 100 young people from Grant High School, Van Nuys High School, East Valley YMCA, and Harvard-Westlake School. The youth participants described the challenges they currently face and dynamic visions for the future of their communities.
Many of the issues we heard about were related to housing. Youth expressed concern about being priced out due to high rents, increasing homelessness in the city, and the lack of new affordable housing and apartments. They also discussed solutions and strategies that we can include in our Community Plan Updates to make their neighborhoods more livable, including:
- Adding more housing and open space
- Developing mixed-use buildings near transit and employment centers
- Creating gathering spaces for young people
- Focusing on pedestrian-oriented street design.
Thank you to the youth who participated and the educators and youth organizers who helped us to coordinate these events!