Fighting for youth : the creation of a safe space for disadvantaged youth

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Brown, Troy
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Architecture (Professional)
Unitec Institute of Technology
O'Connell, Ainsley
Murphy, Chris
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
James Cook High School (Manurewa, Auckland, N.Z.)
Manurewa (Auckland, N.Z.)
South Auckland (N.Z.)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
Pasifika students
Māori students
problem youth
Pasifika students
youth centres
community centres
sports facilities
at risk students
Brown, T. (2019). Fighting for youth : the creation of a safe space for disadvantaged youth. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can a facility for sports and recreation create a safe space for disadvantaged youth and foster their engagement with society? ABSTRACT: Many South Auckland children and youth experience significant disadvantages by New Zealand’s standards. This means that they are put in unfavourable circumstances that reduce their chances of succeeding in life, causing high unemployment, high crime, poor health, a lack of education and poverty. There is a very high percentage of youth in South Auckland who do not have access to education, health, social opportunities and support. Many of the locals often feel unsafe going to certain streets or neighbourhoods and lack a sense of belonging. This masters by design project investigates one specific area in south Auckland and how youth between the ages of 13 to 18 can be helped to achieve better life outcomes through the provision of a new community space. Youth in this area are surrounded by negativity. They do not have many positive options or role models to look up to and they often lack any sense of belonging to their community. This means that the young people in the area can be easily swayed by many of the poor surrounding influences. The environment has stayed the same for generations, creating what seems like a never-ending cycle. This project aims to interrupt this cycle by giving youth a place that takes them off the street and into a safe environment with positive guidance in their spare time. A positive space for youth can give hope and a sense of belonging that many so desperately need. This project is an architectural response to the inherent need for the creation of a youth-focused hub or facility to support creative, recreational and social programmes aimed to engage teenagers in Auckland’s southern suburb, Manurewa. The facility focuses on youth development through reinforcing positive relationships, developing self-belief and sense of worth. The focus is on youth themselves and giving them the agency to better their situation.
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