Edmonton

Future of Edmonton essay contest taps city youth for 2050 vision

The City of Edmonton Youth Council’s inaugural Future of Edmonton Essay Contest invites youth to imagine a day in the life of an Edmontonian in 2050.

'We want to get Edmonton youth thinking forward'

The City of Edmonton Youth Council is inviting Edmonton youth to envision the city's future in an essay contest. (Naomi Caufield)

It's never too soon to get the perspectives of the city's future leaders. At least that's what a new essay contest from the City of Edmonton hopes to gather.

"We want to get Edmonton youth thinking forward, thinking what would make me want to stay here and build a future," said youth councillor Sam Goertz in an interview with CBC Edmonton's Radio Active Monday.

The youth council's inaugural Future of Edmonton Essay Contest invites young people to imagine a day in the life of an Edmontonian in 2050.

The contest also asks how they would change the city if there were no restrictions on their power as mayor, and briefly describe a key issue facing Edmontonians today.

"Density is something that comes up," Goertz said.

"How people are going to get around. Young people in particular want a city that's growing up, more than out, and that's a big debate that's going on at city council right now.

"I think that reflects that youth issues aren't all that different from the rest of Edmonton issues."

Youth apathy

Mitchell Moore, a Grade 12 student at Victoria School of the Arts, said many young people don't feel they have a voice at city hall.

"A lot of the people in my high school hadn't heard of the City of Edmonton Youth Council before," said Moore, a jurist in the essay contest.

The contest is an "awesome way to be recognized" for youth, Moore said.

"I'm expecting something different, that puts Edmonton in a positive light," he said. "To inspire Edmonton youth.

"A lot of them are going to be living in this city a long time and maybe this could even ... improve our city overall."

The essay contest, open to Edmonton residents between ages 13 and 23, closes April 30.

The contest winners will be recognized on May 31 at 5 p.m. at city hall.

About the Author

Thandiwe Konguavi is an award-winning journalist, born in Zimbabwe. She is an associate producer and reporter at CBC Edmonton. Reach her at thandiwe.konguavi@cbc.ca or on Twitter @TandiwayK (https://twitter.com/TandiwayK).

With files from CBC Edmonton's Sheena Rossiter

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