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Urban meiden

Research indicates that socially active sports practices are empowering and contribute to a positive perception of young people in disadvantaged neighborhoods. However, young girls tend to drop out around the age of 12 and are less visible in public spaces for sports and leisure activities. This trend is also noticeable in urban sports, where significantly fewer girls and women are active. We aim to investigate why this is the case and how we can design spaces and offerings together with these girls so that they can find a place to meet and engage in urban sports activities.

Over the course of two years, we will empower girls (aged 12-18) from two socially vulnerable neighborhoods (Roeselare, Kortrijk, and/or Ronse) to create a space for urban sports, in close collaboration with local partners. The research team at Howest will support and document this process through participatory action research and developmental evaluation methods. Insights into the behavior of young girls in public spaces, local transitions, and approaches will be shared in Flanders through Howest's Vital Cities expertise center and within the international network of Vital Cities and the involved programs.