This paper is devoted to the problem of engaging youth in the formation of sustainable urban environment. A particular focus is on the role of universities as research and educational centres in this process. The problem was analyzed from two perspectives. On the one hand, an analysis was carried out to assess the activity of students as the actors contributing to the formation of urban environment, as well as the level of their involvement in constructive social practices and readiness for social and cultural participation in urban life. On the other hand, specifi c institutional and socio-cultural features of urban environment, which determine the social activity of youth, were investigated. Russia and Poland were selected as the objects of analysis, mainly because these countries share a common socio-cultural, ideological and historical heritage. The research methodology involved a secondary analysis of published data and a survey among Russian and Polish university students. The respondents were selected using the method of targeted sampling and included 465 and 248 respondents from Russia and Poland, respectively. As a result, a number of differences between the countries were identifi ed. In Poland, a shift towards non-formalised social practices and non-institutionalised forms of participation is evident. Russia, however, shows the opposite trend, which involves formalisation and bureaucratization of youth social participation through centralisation of programmes and projects, as well as unifi cation of approaches used to encourage youth activity. Polish youth demonstrates a higher social activity and a higher level of trust in NPOs, as well as orientation towards democratic values. For Russian students, a submissive position with respect to the city authorities as the main subject of urban development was found to be more typical. Although, in general, Russian and Polish students demonstrate similar patterns of participation in urban development, the former are more focused on its collective forms, while the latter are oriented at individualisation. The obtained results provide for a deeper understanding of the nature of youth participation in the socio-cultural development of cities. Our fi ndings can be used in practice for the development of university strategies aimed at promotion of student social engagement.
Level of Research Output
- VAK List