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Civic Impact

The YU Carnival makes city-building a party for young people

Tonight, Toronto youth are invited to Project YU’s Urban Carnival. From 5:30 to 8:30 at the Great Hall on Queen Street West, the Urban Carnival is a hybrid of both party and urbanist discussion. Focused around three themes—Affordability, Public Realm, and Transportation—the free event also offers a DJ, a performance by local dance troupe YYZ and carnival-inspired snacks. There will be a live mural painting by local artist Adrian Hayles, which builds on the theme of Public Realm. Participants can also draft a mock budget, allocating the city’s resources as they see fit. A roundtable discussion with local transportation experts from Metrolinx, the City of Toronto, the TTC, and the private sector, promises to be “small, intimate coffee table talks,” says Cancelli, offering participants insights into how the city’s transportation works.

“We want youth to be informed, but also make urbanism fun and cool. That’s why we went with the carnival theme,” says Ariana Cancelli, Program Coordinator at the Canadian Urban Institute and Project YU. “The ambassadors didn’t want a traditional or formal event, so this is more interactive.” The Carnival marks the launch of Project YU, which aims to help young people across the GTA become more aware of, and involved in, the issues facing the city.

Project YU’s ambassadors played a key part in organizing and publicizing the event. “Their role will be trying to engage people in conversation, sharing info on project YU,” says Cancelli, adding that another group of young people has been involved in creating blog posts for Project YU. “We have articles written for youth by youth about the urban environment, so we’re really hoping to get people involved and connected so they’re aware of this content,” she says.

“We want to have more purposeful conversations about urban environment, which is the point of Project YU,” says Cancelli. “The blog will continue, and maybe it will be an online hub. We’re also trying to develop the network, and get everyone linked into our social sites."
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