Fewer glass buildings and changes to school - what young people in Norwich want for the future
PUBLISHED: 14:15 13 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:03 13 February 2019
Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk
From fewer glass apartment buildings to changes in school curriculums and how we recycle, Norwich’s young people have listed what they would like the future to hold for Norwich.
As part of our Future of Norwich Takeover, members of the Norwich Youth Advisory Board - a group of young people who meet on a bi-monthly basis to discuss issues affecting them - came to our offices to debate what lies ahead.
Discussing everything from how we’ll shop in 20 years time to the role of social media, free time, music trends and the importance of green initiatives, the group listed housing, education and shopping as key concerns.
Jaxon Wilkins, 24, said one of key issues to consider for Norwich’s future was the type of architecture that is built in the city. He said: “I don’t want Norwich to change. I like the age of the city, I like the fact that the city walls are still there.”
Adding that he thought new buildings should be sympathetic to the city’s history he said: “I understand that we need more affordable housing.
“I think you can build like the originals, whether that’s housing made with stone or brick, just so it fits in.”
Another key issue was education, with many of the young people calling for more understanding of different styles of learning and more emphasis on creative subjects.
Danielle Liddell, 15, said: “I’d like to have teachers trained to be able to spot mental health problems, and to be able to deal with it and know how to offer support and for those who have support to be able to decide who to have with them while they have support.”
The majority agreed that in 20 years time they hoped young people would still be spending their free time together, as opposed to online.
Jasmine Mickleburgh, 19, said: “As much as people like change, people still have the need to be social.”
• Our Future of Norwich takeover week is brought to you in association with Norwich City Council and Norwich Business Improvement District (BID).
• The Norwich Society and Evening News are holding a public debate about the future of the city at the Forum on Tuesday, February 19 at 6pm. Admission is free, but booking here is recommended.
Opinion: Jaxon Wilkins
I know a lot of people will say ‘onward and upwards’ with new builds and shop fronts, but I think we need to focus closer to home and keep the historical architecture that makes Norwich what it always has been, homely and local.
The new glass high-rises built in the city centre don’t match with the city itself. There are areas in places such as Sprowston on the outskirts of the city these buildings would fit in better.
I don’t think we should continue to add modern buildings to an area so historic, but we need to be working on the housing and homelessness issue which calls for more affordable housing.
We need to either focus on the outer ring road or create housing in the centre of the city that duplicates the original ones, those made out of stone and brick and sit at only two stories high.
All of the above will be irrelevant though if we don’t become more socially aware of our actions and how they effect the environment and future generations.
We all need to start making that choice to start looking after the only planet we have. It doesn’t have to be anything big, it could be making sure you recycle your plastic bottle or making sure you switch off your lights when you leave a room, all these small things make big changes when done in mass amount.
It all starts with awareness and education. Knowledge really is the key to becoming better.
In conclusion, come 2040 I wouldn’t want to see any visual or architectural changes come to the city of Norwich but I would like to see a change in the attitude of its people.