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Surrey launches global project to follow the lives of young people in seven major cities

How do young people see the world? What are their aspirations for the future? How will they navigate the challenges of a fast changing world in the 21st Century? These are the questions a new global research project aims to answer.

The University of Surrey’s Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP) has launched the Children and Youth in Cities – Lifestyle Evaluations and Sustainability (CYCLES) project.

The three year project will focus on young people, between the ages of 12 to 24 years, living in seven different cities: Christchurch, New Zealand; Delhi, India; Dhaka in Bangladesh; Grahamstown in South Africa; London, England; São Paulo, Brazil; and Yokohama in Japan. The project will investigate what challenges each young person encounters and it will determine the best way to help each overcome them.

Professor Tim Jackson, Director of CUSP, said: “Our hope is to launch a vital conversation about young people’s prospects for the future. To understand those prospects is to understand the hopes for human development. To improve them is to enrich our own lives.”

CYCLES will build on comparative research into the lifestyles of young urban residents, including the ground-breaking work of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Survey of Sustainable Lifestyles.  

Bronwyn Hayward, Associate Professor at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, said: “It is exciting to bring seven international research teams together to share our insights into challenges facing young people in cities around the world.

“The aim over the next three years is to identify pragmatic ways to help young people across the world achieve their full potential—within the limits of a finite planet.”

Project Lead in Delhi, Vimlendu Jha, said: “India and its youth are going through a rapid transition. We need a common understanding of sustainability, with mutual respect for each other’s approach.”

You can read about the scope of the project at: http://cusp.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/CYCLES-background-report-online.pdf

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