Under the visionary leadership of Annette S. Koh, students in the undergraduate community planning studio at California Polytechnic University Pomona are launching the “Young Community Planners of Long Beach” workshop series on March 9th with city leaders at two teen centers in Long Beach.
This pilot workshop series represents the next step in a growing partnership between Cal Poly Pomona and CC+S’s Y-PLAN initiative. In 2019, Cal Poly students served as mentors for our 2019 LA County Y-PLAN project with the County of Los Angeles and Roland Heights School District. During the pandemic, Cal Poly Pomona students and faculty joined statewide Zoom studio collaborations with UC Berkeley Y-PLAN mentors and served as digital mentors and speakers at CC+S Youth Leadership Saturday Summits.
This year’s pilot program is based on the Y-PLAN methodology and has been developed in partnership with the Long Beach Community Design Center and the city’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine. The Cal Poly Pomona students had the opportunity to learn directly from the Center for Cities + Schools’ founder Dr. Deborah McKoy during her visit to Cal Poly Pomona in mid-February. The undergrads have developed hands-on activities and educational materials for the youth that engage the question of how to make the city’s parks more accessible, equitable, enjoyable and sustainable. “The Cal Poly Pomona students are excited to connect the existing knowledge and experience of the youth participants to the skills and tools of the urban planning profession,” said Annette Koh, lecturer in the university’s College of Environmental Design. “It’s especially meaningful as our Cal Poly undergrads come from similar backgrounds to the teens and are passionate about serving as mentors.”
A total of three workshops will be offered on Wednesdays in March 2022, beginning March 9 at the Houghton Park Teen Center near Jordan High in North Long Beach and McBride Park Teen Center next to Poly High in Central Long Beach. For more information, visit @youareplanning, the student-run Instagram page for the Cal Poly Pomona urban planning studio.