Youth visions in a changing climate

Youth Visions for a Changing Climate is a project with the higher purpose of ‘Building Resilience in the City of Cape Town’. The overall aim of the project is to better understand opportunities for building social-ecological resilience through participatory, arts-based methodologies and engagement with urban youth.

The project is a collaboration between researchers from the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST) at Stellenbosch University (Nadia Sitas, Odirilwe Selomane),  the University of Cape Town and The Beach Coop (Ffion Atkins) and locally-based artists: CareCreative (Claire Homewood) and members of the HC360Crew with support from Amava Oluntu.

The work entails linking two youth communities – Mitchells Plain and Muizenberg- through 3 workshops which involve art-based processes, beach and urban waterway cleanups and a participatory mural development.

The project has existing funding from the Cape Higher Education Consortium and the City of Cape Town. Further funding is being sought to expand on and complete the project.


About our researchers

Dr Nadia Sitas has over a decade of experience working at the interface between research and practice and collaboratively developing innovative methodologies to co-produce knowledge and co-design responses that are grounded in local realities. Her work seeks to  address issues linked to structural inequalities and power asymmetries, and identify where policy windows of opportunity exist for shifting systems towards more resilient development trajectories.

Dr Ffion Atkins is an early career researcher working at the intersection between urban systems and marine science, in both research and practice, with a particular focus on the flows of resources such as water, nitrogen and plastic through the urban environment into the coastal ocean. Ffion is also affiliated with The Beach Co-Operative (TBCO) as Researcher and Data Scientist. Her focus here is on citizen science and how to align TBCO efforts to answer locally relevant questions.

Dr Odirilwe Selomane is a researcher interested in interactions between social and ecological systems, particularly how to quantify and monitor how these change overtime. His work on ecosystem services or nature’s contributions to people uses census and other publicly available data to quantify how the direct use of local ecosystems are changing in South Africa. His other recent interests include thinking about how inequity fits into and is addressed within the development and sustainability narrative.


About our collaborators

The Beach Co-Op works collaboratively and creatively within ocean communities and with government and business to urgently protect, restore and regenerate the integrity of ocean ecosystems. Their mission is to effectively connect people, institutions and organisations through evidence-based education and experiential learning to keep South Africa’s beaches clean and healthy and to protect and enhance ocean health.

CareCreative: Claire Homewood is the creative force behind CareCreative which seeks to facilitate creative, diverse and participatory spaces underpinned by an ethic of care for both people and planet. Over the last decade CareCreative has been involved in many events, from street festivals to live painting to community activations and is behind many murals in public and private locations around Cape Town. She uses creativity to facilitate conversations, interactions, co-design and artmaking. Much of the work undertaken by CareCreative focuses on environmental issues with the intention that the artworks are used as platforms and points of discussion for topics around environment, education, social inclusion, youth, women, indigenous culture and community collaboration.

HC360Crew: Brought together by their shared love of graffiti art and ethos, the HandControl 360 Graffiti Art Crew came into existence in 2017. Since then, their skills have kept growing as they learn from and share with each other. Together they have completed many murals that bring not only colour to communities, but provide thought provoking content that touches on heritage, sustainability, climate change and more.

Amava Oluntu is, alongside the community around them, responding to social and environmental issues and share networks and resources that enable us to become strong change agents. They develop community-based solutions with an asset-based approach, working from the inside out using existing life wisdom and skills that benefit the broader community. Through reconnecting people and networks, they respond to societal issues, unlock opportunities, increase social connectedness and contribute to just futures. Entrepreneurial learning, skills development and exchange of knowledge are core cross-cutting components as they catalyze socioeconomic development and community resilience.


For more information, contact us at

youthnaturefutures@gmail.com

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