Sauerland: Children and young people are allowed to express their opinion

Children and young people are our future – in the Sauerland region they are increasingly being asked for their ideas. Brillon has had a Youth Parliament for more than 20 years. Young people in all committees. In Brillon and Marsberg, young people had a say in how the new schoolyards were to be designed. The city of Brillon wanted the pupils of the school center to know what their dream school should look like. Children and young people are also asked to give their opinions on the design of playgrounds and bike parks.

Among other things, the opinion of children and young people is presented here:


The Arnsberg Family Office organizes many forms of participation for children and young people through its station and street workers – often in cooperation with local youth facilities. Basically, youth clubs and facilities in Arnsberg are very active in this area.

  • Project-related Participation Formats: Film projects on city-related topics, U18 Federal Elections (creation and registration of a polling station via the Family Office), Children’s Parliament in Moosfelde, Active participation in urban event formats such as Schlabberkappe (awareness of sustainability), re-design of play areas and playgrounds in Pre-meeting format on site (ideas and wishes are included in planning)
  • Open Participation Formats: Garbage collection campaigns, Obstacles campaign as part of Cultures Week, Building Lego ladders with KiJu, and soon the ongoing participation in the City Lab
  • Digital sharing formats, for example via (in the past, among others, for the design of the saltwater park in Hüsten) or via #mischdichein (sharing via padlet among street workers), social media surveys on a variety of themes
  • Participation in schools: Students’ concerns can be raised through class representatives and classroom conferences. In addition, participation across the school organization through seats at student-teacher conferences as well as at the school conference is becoming increasingly common
  • Participation in youth associations and youth councils: cooperation between the family office and the city youth council through the implementation of various projects; In principle, young people can organize themselves into youth associations and pursue their own interests in a way they decide for themselves


The municipality of Pistwig is currently participating in the youth project “Youth and the Arts”, which aims to help children and young people develop into creative and sovereign members of a just and sustainable society. Volunteers who participate in the Bestwig community are also honored with a ‘Local Bestwig Award’ – recently ‘Bestwig natural rangers’ received a prize of over €1,500.


  • Brillon has had a Youth Parliament since 2001. The Youth Parliament is represented by advisory members of the Youth and Family Committee, the School and Sports Committee, the Forestry, Environment and Agriculture Committee, and the Structural Committee. Young parliamentarians are also participating in the Brillon Sustainable Working Group.
  • The participation process is the center of the School of the Future, where Brillon students were allowed to be a part of the beginning. Through a six-month engagement process for the transformation of the School Center in Jakobuslinde, the City of Brilon has given everyone the opportunity to register their wishes and provide motivations and suggestions for the largest urban school building project in recent decades. In particular, in the process, students. Student workshops were held in which the “School of Dreams” was built as a model. According to the city of Brillon, students were able to share their “dream ideas” on postcards. The final report of the engagement process has been delivered to the architects of the new school centre. Meanwhile, construction work began.

mount mars

Examples from Marsberg of projects where children, youth, youth and families have been involved:

  • Skate park planning and construction
  • Mini bike park layout
  • Planning and implementation of the redesign of primary school school yards
  • Planning to redesign a high school yard
  • high school naming
  • Bürgerwiese planning and building (Here, the commitment and idea came from the citizens and their support. However, the city played a supporting role).

thank you

Examples of children and youth participation:

  • Make! Competition: This competition gives young people the opportunity to develop projects and ideas for Meschede. But due to the Corona pandemic, the competition could not take place as usual.
  • Young people and families were also invited to contribute their ideas when planning the adventure playground to be built on Lake Hennessy in Berghauser Bucht.
  • The “Mescheder Stadttalke” is also open to all young people. This is a forum where volunteers participate in the public life of the city of Michide.


The City of Olsberg wants to develop concepts to engage children and youth more in the city’s development. “When children and young people have a say in decisions and help shape them, it contributes greatly to the strengthening of democratic structures,” said Olsberg 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 aged 12-18 the floor. In the online survey, they must make their assessments of the Olsberg leisure facilities clear – but above all express their wishes and suggestions.
  • Olsberg Bicycle Park: On two occasions, young people were able to suggest what the planned park should look like

winter mountain

  • More developments in municipal playgrounds are being coordinated with parents and their children, for example.
  • There are regular talks with student representatives from Medebach Winterberg High School, the Winterberg site, and the Geschwister-Scholl-Gymnasium. A school climate summit is also scheduled for the city area in the second half of the year.
  • Last year, a round table was held on the topic of youth culture and work in Winterberg, from which the city was able to get a lot of ideas regarding the desires of young people. The task now is to process, develop and implement the results, according to the city of Winterberg.

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