In Philly, Green Youth Get A Seat At The Table

When it comes to creating plans for many towns and cities across the world, the views of those who will live the longest with its’ consequences very often aren’t considered at all. But that doesn’t seem to be the case in Philadelphia, where government leaders have asked students from across the city to come together this Thursday and engage in a youth forum where they can share their views on how they believe that open space should be both preserved and nourished for generations to come. Ultimately their efforts are being compiled along with those of many others into what they’re calling GreenPlan Philadelphia; a plan that outlines the future of green open spaces within the city.

The city’s leaders stress how critical a GreenPlan for open space is to the future of kids in any city by pointing to the results of a study which indicates that there are 56% fewer violent crimes and 48% fewer crimes against property when inner-city apartment buildings have high levels of greenery as opposed to those with low levels of green open spaces. As you might imagine, the findings probably wouldn’t surprise many middle or high school science students who’ve learned in class that the basic need of living things for a certain amount of living space is universal, but city officials go on to point out that having a rock solid green plan in place will enable them to more aggressively go after outside funding to improve the city's existing green spaces and make the entire city a more inviting place to live, work, and play. Ultimately the students involved will benefit not only from the physical realities of the plan they help to create and the reduction in crime to be expected; but also from the empowering sense of environmental stewardship that comes with being part of a process that will have a positive and lasting impact on the environment of the city in which they all will live. And that’s a sense that no one will be able to take away from them no matter how far they find themselves from Philadelphia.

So here’s to Philly’s leadership for taking the time to see the future through the eyes of those who will one day lead the way…

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