In the blink of an eye, my stay in the City of Rochester has came to an end. As I reflect on parts of my journey, I realised that the experience went beyond the focus on environmental sustainability.
As part of the city’s plan to make it a premier medical tourism destination took great pains to engage Consultants to come up with different designs which were expected to be realised over the next 20 years. This was an exciting project that promised to not just bring more people into the city but also inject a different vibe into the city.
Yet in the midst of it all, it seemed that the engagement with the key group of stakeholders that would soon be part of that vision was missed out – the youths.
With they became part of the group that will see the future turning into reality, there appears to be a need to incorporate their views into the city. Regardless whether it is on environmental sustainability, their engagement could provide clues to what the city could emerge amongst other cities. Afterall, in a large country with so many states, it is undeniably easy to move to another city or state.
Likewise, this made me think about how our engagement with youths and their views on environmental sustainability could also form the basis as well as source of our work. By building up the ownership of students and youths, there is a greater identity formed. To this end, greening does not take place in a formal or usual context. Greening in this case means finding ways for identity to form so that roots to this city start to form and deepen.