Tell us what we can do: Redefining youth-adult research collaborations

April 28, 2021

Presented with the Child and Youth Participatory Research Network.

This session aims to foster collective reflection on different challenges and opportunities of youth-adult collaboration in community-engaged research. It draws on our decade-long experiences in action-research projects with young people in Montreal. We will share insights from our most recent work with a group of youth co-researchers, which explore issues related to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as part of a longitudinal study on children growing up with cities.

Issues to be discussed include: the ethics of collaboration; figuring out appropriate types of supportive roles for adults; and more broadly, the multiple benefits of involving youth as co-researchers from the perspective of community youth development and urban planning, as well as for different sectors including schools, municipalities and community organizations.


Laura Wright

Laura Wright is the Director of Participatory Methodologies, International Institute for Child Rights and Development (IICRD) and a PhD Researcher, Research and Teaching Fellow, Childhood and Youth Studies Research Group, University of Edinburgh. Laura's research and practice has focused on play and arts based participatory methodologies, children’s meaningful participation, intergenerational partnerships,  child rights, and psychosocial wellbeing in many countries around the world. She is passionate about meaningful collaboration and is an active member on several child and youth-centered networks and boards. 


Natasha Blanchet-Cohen

Natasha Blanchet-Cohen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Human Sciences at Concordia University and Graduate director of the Youth Work diploma. Her research focusses on community youth development, exploring opportunities for child-youth friendly spaces, places and systems, and ecocitizenship. As an interdisciplinary and engaged scholar, she has worked collaboratively in research projects with multiple community organizations and carried out various action research projects involving youth. She is current co-chair of the 6 year Quebec youth research network.

Juan Torres

Juan Torres is a certified urban planner (Quebec, Canada) and Professor at the School of Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture at the Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Montreal. He was born in Mexico and graduated in architecture (2000), in urban planning (M.Urb 2003), and environmental design (Ph.D. 2008). Specialized in urban design, his research focuses on children mobility, the production of child-friendly urban spaces and the participation of children and youth in urban planning and design. Since 2009, he collaborates with EspaceMuni as a member of the advisory committee of the UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Cities program in Québec. A list of his publications is available here: