Sauerland: Children and young people are allowed to speak

Children and young people are our future – in the Sauerland region they are increasingly asked for their ideas. Brilon has had a youth parliament for over 20 years. Young people are on all committees. In Brilon and Marsberg, the young people had a say in how the new schoolyards should be designed. The city of Brilon wanted to know from the school center’s students what their dream school would look like. Children and young people are also asked about their opinion on the design of playgrounds and bike parks.

Among other things, children and young people’s opinions are asked here:


Arnsberg city’s family office arranges numerous forms of participation for children and young people with stops and street workers – often in collaboration with the local youth facilities. As a starting point, the youth clubs and facilities in Arnsberg are very active in this area.

  • Project-related participation formats: film projects on topics related to the city, U18 federal elections (establishment and registration of polling station via family office), children’s parliament in Moosfelde, active involvement in urban event formats such as Schlabberkappe (knowledge of the topic regarding sustainability), redesign of playgrounds and playgrounds in the form of pre-on-site meeting (ideas and wishes are included in the planning)
  • Open participation formats: waste collection campaigns, campaign for the stumbling blocks as part of the intercultural week, building ramps from Lego blocks with KiJu, soon also ongoing participation in the city laboratory
  • Digital participation formats, e.g. via (previously, among other things, for designing the brine park in Hüsten) or via #mischdichein (participation via paddle among street workers), surveys via social media on a wide range of topics
  • Participation in schools: Pupils’ interests can be brought forward via class representatives and the establishment of class conferences. In addition, participation via the school organization through places in student and teacher conferences as well as in the school conference is becoming increasingly common.
  • Participation in youth associations and youth councils: cooperation between the family office and the city’s youth council, through which various projects are implemented; In principle, young people can organize themselves in youth associations and look after their respective interests in a self-determined way


The municipality of Bestwig is currently involved in the youth project “Youth & Arts”, which aims to help children and young people develop into creative and sovereign members of a fair and sustainable society. Volunteers involved in the community in Bestwig are also honored with the “Bestwig local prize” – most recently the “Bestwig natural rangers” received a prize of over 1,500 euros.


  • Brilon has had a youth parliament since 2001. The youth parliament is represented by advisory members in the committee for youth and family, in the school and sports committee, in the committee for forest, environment and agriculture and in the structure committee. The youth parliamentarians are also involved in the Sustainable Brilon working group.
  • Participation process The school center of the future, where the Brilon students were allowed to participate from the very beginning. With a half-year participation process for the rebuilding of the school center at Jakobuslinde, the city of Brilon gave everyone the opportunity to register their wishes and give impulses and suggestions for the largest urban school construction in recent decades. Especially in this process, the students will . Student workshops were held where the “dream school” was built as a model. According to the city of Brilon, students could share their “dream thoughts” on wish postcards. The final report on the participation process was handed over to the architects for the new school centre. In the meantime, construction work has started.

Mars mountain

Examples from the city of Marsberg of projects where children, young people, young adults and families were taken on board:

  • Planning and construction of a skate park
  • Planning a small bike park
  • Planning and implementation of the new layout of the primary schools’ schoolyards
  • Planning the redesign of a school yard for the high school
  • Naming of the high school
  • Planning and construction of the Bürgerwiese (here, however, the commitment and idea came from the citizens and were supported by them. However, the city played a supporting role.)


Examples of children and young people’s participation:

  • “Make!” competition: This competition gives young people the opportunity to develop projects and ideas for Meschede. Due to the corona pandemic, however, the competition could not run as normal.
  • Young people and families were also invited to contribute their ideas when planning the adventure playground to be built at Lake Hennesee in Berghauser Bucht.
  • The “Mescheder Stadttalke” is also open to all young people. This is a forum where volunteers engage in public life in the city of Meschede.


The city of Olsberg wants to develop concepts that involve children and young people more in the further development of the city. “When children and young people have an influence on decisions and help to shape them, it significantly contributes to strengthening the democratic structures,” says Olsberg’s mayor Wolfgang Fischer. However, there have already been campaigns for the participation of children and young people:

  • In an online survey, the city of Olsberg gave young people between the ages of 12 and 18 the floor. In the online survey, they should make their assessments of the leisure facilities in Olsberg clear – but above all express their wishes and suggestions.
  • Bike park in Olsberg: On two occasions, young people could make suggestions about how the planned park should look

winter mountain

  • The further development of the municipal playgrounds is coordinated e.g. with the parents and their children.
  • There are regular talks with student representatives from Medebach Winterberg high school, Winterberg location and Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium. A climate meeting is also planned at the schools in the city area in the second half of the year.
  • Last year, a round table on the subject of youth culture and work took place in Winterberg, from which the city was able to gain a lot of insight in relation to the wishes of young people. Now the task is to process, further develop and implement the results, says the city of Winterberg.

Leave a Comment