Mechelen Night Owls “Nachtraven”
Everyone should be able to feel safe in the city, regardless of their age, gender, origin, etc. Unfortunately this is not always the case, especially after night falls. Young people also experience intimidation in many different forms. The city of Mechelen wants to tackle this problem in a targeted manner and has engaged Studio Dott to help. Together we dove into Mechelen nightlife and we shared the joys and sorrows of youngsters, in search of smart solutions for a safer nightlife.
Intimidation, (not) a thing of the past
We found that there is indeed a problem with intimidation. The question remained whether young people also see this as a problem or do they just take it as a part of life? Time to go out and just ask them!
Our target group consisted of young people, 15 to 25 years old, who go out in and around Mechelen. No better way to reach these youngsters than through the good old social media channels. Especially on Facebook, our survey soon began to go viral among the Mechelen youths. Thanks to their honest responses, we got a good overview of the problems and needs with regard to safety in nightlife. With this input, we were able to set up a customized idea jam.
I wanna jam with you
20 youngsters, a lot of pizza and a great deal of enthusiasm on a Saturday afternoon: the ideal mix for a lively idea jam. With this co-creative session, we gave these youths the opportunity to make their voices heard even more. We started from the already detected challenges and mapped the potentially unsafe situations and locations.
More ideas please
There is no challenge that has no solution. During the second part of the jam, the youngsters formulated how things could be improved and various ideas were born, some a little more drastic than others, but all equally relevant. From all these ideas, the participants themselves chose their favorites, which they then developed in more detail.
Don't worry, there's a story
All of the ideas suggested by these youths were collected and thematically clustered. Together, we then made a selection of the most useful concepts. This resulted in 3 storyboards, combining the different ideas. This gave the city of Mechelen a clear story from which certain ideas can be picked for testing at a later stage.
The story continues
The next steps in the process are experimental testing of a number of concepts in a realistic context with the youngsters so that these solutions can be evaluated and adjusted. To this end, the City of Mechelen is looking for innovative companies that can improve the feeling of insecurity among young people, with new or existing solutions. Thanks to an open call, anyone can apply for this, after which an expert jury will select the winner(s).
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