Influence of positive youth development on the design of the built environment : the design of a youth development centre in Durban.
Youth are a reflection of our future and the methods we use to educate, nurture and guide them, assist in determining the type of adults they grow to be. This dissertation analyses how the built environment can serve as a platform to help youth grow into responsible and well-balanced adults. A theoretical framework is set out to explore the requirements involved in understanding physical, mental and emotional changes a youth is faced with at this stage in their life by providing them with environments to assist them in discovering their means of existence, their role in society and vital skills to enter upon adulthood. A set of case studies and precedent studies aided the research and determined the vital impact a Youth Development Centre may have in evolving and socially uplifting youth and their community. The findings demonstrated that a greater awareness and education is needed in understanding the behavior of the youth to establish a society that is tolerant, respectful and healthy. Limited and restrictive means to how youth expressive themselves, learn and develop leads to a youth population that is confused, conflicted and unable to take on the challenges of adulthood. Thus, highlighting the need for the built environment to serve as a platform where healthy self-expression and learning opportunities, which stimulate the minds and bodies of youth, are encouraged. Such places were shown to inspire youth and their community to do better and be better. Youth are the future leaders of a country and their well-being and healthy development is of utmost important to us all.