Past Program

Apr 25 - May 02, 1999

Urban Youth


More than forty percent of the world‘s population is under the age of twenty-one, and vast numbers of these young people live in urban areas that often put them at risk for social, economic, environmental and educational disadvantages. Among the most pressing problems facing urban youth are homelessness, joblessness, social injustice, and violence. In many countries around the world, efforts are being made to address and remedy these problems. While each society and culture is faced with unique challenges and opportunities, there is the shared recognition that the future of all societies is dependent on the ability of the younger generation to find a productive and meaningful place in society.


This session will review the diverse challenges confronting urban youth around the world, and will then explore policies and initiatives that are helping to create an urban environment that supports the complex needs of youth and promotes the transition and transformation into productive adulthood. Particular attention will be paid to issues of adequate health care, proper education, preparation for the workforce, and leadership development. How can one realistically assess the needs of young people? What are the most effective methods of addressing these needs at the community and national level? What role can civic leaders, educators, and youth leaders play in creating a social environment that will support the complex needs of urban youth? By reviewing policies and practices in a variety of urban settings, this session will provide insights into the development of pro-active strategies for meeting the current and future needs of urban youth populations.