Improving accessibility, dealing with plastic, planning for an ageing community, and preparing for a creative economy were among the issues explored by high school students during online discussion designed to create a sustainable future for Newcastle.
The City of Newcastle Sustainnovation Challenge is a community capacity building project that is part of the council's NewSkills and Living Lab programs.
The project, which was launched on Wednesday, brings together education, industry, community and city leaders who are volunteering their expertise to help students develop workable solutions to issues relevant to their community.
"The goal of the Sustainnovation Challenge is to empower young people to embrace a new way of thinking and acting, to help create a sustainable future across all sectors of our community," Newcastle Deputy Mayor Declan Clausen said.
Students from nine secondary schools including Newcastle High, Lambton High, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, West Wallsend High, Merewether High, St. Philip's Christian College, Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College and Big Picture Education Cooks Hill Campus will attend two-day online workshops tackling the first two of the program's four challenges: How can our community benefit from being a smart and accessible city? and How does a smart city deal with plastic? during November and December.
Students will be guided through applied innovation, system engineering, and other analysis and development tools and principles.
"Ideas showing the greatest smart city potential will progress to the council's Living Lab accelerator program to be further developed and possibly implemented," Program Director Duncan Burck said.
"Applied innovation is a systematic process of creating ideas to improve or make something work better. It provides an opportunity to fast-track those things that will enhance our lives, communities and the environment we live in now and for future generations," Mr Burck explained.
"The more we listen to and encourage our young people to share their perspectives, the better the ideas and future decisions we'll be able to make as a whole community."
Schools interested in registering can go to: sustainnovationchallenge.com.au
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