CoalRegionUPGRADE. We. Now. Sustainable.

The three-year project CoalRegionUPGRADE. We. Now. Sustainable. (Original Titel: My green-just district) strengthens young people shaping the ecological structural change processes of their regions as well as an environmentally friendly urban development according to their ideas in the Lusatian mining district (LR) and the Central German mining district (MR). Jointly with the project partner BUNDjugend, young people will be encouraged, empowered and supported. The needs of the young generation their ideas and their scope for action should be given the space that is, unfortunately, often given far too little attention. Questions of justice and participation play just as much a role as personal perspectives on commitment, occupation, and the design of one’s living environment.

The project builds on existing contacts and structures. The three local focal points and the respective surrounding areas of Halle (Saale), Cottbus and Leipzig connect not only three federal states and two coalfields, but also diverse realities of life, differing contexts and actor constellations. The project aims to network closely with ongoing activities and actors and to strengthen existing and new connections in order to contribute to a youth-oriented, long-term sustainable structural change.

The project consists of several components that build on each other.

A symposium at the beginning will determine the status quo on young perspectives on environmentally sound urban development and sustainable, fair structural change processes. With a „structural change youth mobile“, more specifically a cargo bike, outreach action and environmental education offers will be carried out in both the Central German and the Lusatian regions. Furthermore, youth participation workshops on sustainable district development and environmental justice are planned. Future Labs will be held with local sustainability initiatives and actors to enable young people to explore own future prospects and opportunities for their involvement and careers. The accompanying coaching and competence program strengthens the young people in carrying their demands for environmental justice and the socio-ecological future of the regions into politics and society. The final event of the project is the “Festival of Chang(c)e“. It brings together the young project participants, other interested young people as well as actors from the sector of youth (participation), sustainable urban and regional development, structural change, education (for sustainable development) and local politics from research and practice. The festival offers the place for project results to be presented. Moreover, proposals for action and their implementation developed by young people are discussed with decision-makers.