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For the first time, the 2012 Call featured a specific theme: “Youth and the City: Challenges of and Visions for Demographic Change.” Chosen by the Consultative Group at its 2011 meeting in Maputo, the theme builds on the efforts the Cities Alliance has made in recent years to integrate gender and youth in its work programme under Norway’s sponsorship.

The publication Youth and the City: Lessons From 13 Innovative Projects Funded by the Cities Alliance Catalytic Fund and the UN-Habitat Youth Fund highlights lessons learned from six of the Youth and the City projects, as well as six additional UN-Habitat projects.

It was clear from the Learning Event participants that representation of youth in city development and policymaking is a serious issue in most communities. Moreover, remedying the issue will take more than will or desire; it will take strategy and specific mechanisms that lead to institutional change.


Projects Selected



UrbaPEJ-Dalifort: Support to sustainable urban social development of neighbourhoods and associations, and the promotion of youth employment in Dalifort - outskirts of Dakar

(UrbaPEJ-Dalifort : Projet d’appui au développement social urbain durable des Quartiers) fosters the socio-professional integration of young people and fight against urban poverty by strengthening community life and improving the urban living environment and public security in Dalifort town. It does so through capacity building and building institutional support for socioeconomic initiatives with a focus on improving sanitation and the urban living environment. 


URBAN FUTURES: participatory youth mapping & urban planning

This initiative is implemented by The Collaborative Media Advocacy Platform (CMAP), which shares skills and technologies that allow people in marginalised urban communities to organise more effectively, plan more appropriately and reach the city with their voice and vision.

The CATF has supported the youth-led participatory mapping component of CMAP’s Human City project – a community-driven media, architecture, urban planning and human rights initiative in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Through mapping, a network of young people from the city’s marginalised communities gather and share information about their neighbourhoods, collaborate with urban planners and literally put themselves on the map.


Dance floor without vices or garbage II: Improving habitat through street art and youth policies 

(Pista de baile sin vicios ni basura II: Mejoramiento del hábitat mediante el arte callejero y políticas juveniles)  The project promotes social and economic integration of urban youth at risk in selected marginal areas of the city of Trujillo, Peru through the development of their artistic skills and urban upgrading projects.

It is implemented by implemented by the NGO Rasa Joven.

Increasing young people’s participation in slum upgrading and development  

This activity builds on a successful project implemented by Sierra Leone YMCA and YCI in Freetown from 2007-12. The current initiative expands this work into new communities in Freetown. It provides vocational, entrepreneurship life-skills training, and post-training inputs to young people; supporst slum dwellers to establish savings/credit groups and advocate for improvements in their communities; strengthens the capacity of young people to engage with local decision makers and participate in slum upgrading initiatives; as well as builds the capacity of Freetown City Council in terms of slum upgrading and development approaches that are inclusive and pro-poor. 


Social and Economic Integration of Young People in 4 Neighbourhoods of N'Djamena 

(Insertion sociale et économique des jeunes de 4 quartiers de N'Djamena) aims to improve the social and economic integration of 1,000 young people in the Walia, Dembé, Chagoua and N'djari neighbourhoods in N'Djamena by implementing socio-educational, training and professional integration and capacity building schemes of community organisations in these areas. 


Youth Integration Support Centre of Nouakchott

(Centre d’APpui à l’Insertion des jeunes de Nouakchott).

The French NGO GRET received CATF funding to set up two youth employment centres in Nouakchott, in cooperation with the Urban Metropolitan Authority of Nouakchott (Communauté urbaine de Nouakchott). These one-stop-shop centres provided a broad range of services to youth to help them access the employment market or set up a micro enterprise.

The centres were so successful that the activity was fully integrated into a national vocational training programme for youth carried out by the Ministry of Employment and is being expanded on a national level.