Young Urbanists explore with Siglion to deliver an ‘action’ in Sunderland

Young Urbanists explore with Siglion to deliver an ‘action’ in Sunderland

Young Urbanists is all about getting young people more involved in the development of their cities. 20 young people aged 14 – 15 from Hetton School have worked with creative agency, 22Sheds, to explore Sunderland in a project supported by the Wellesley Trust and Siglion – the joint venture charged with transforming the city, managed by igloo.



The project discusses the things that make a city vibrant, sustainable and healthy. There have been several visits to the city where the group has explored the Vaux redevelopment and talked to Siglion and Carillion about how the site and the city is changing.

Sunerland’s Business Improvement District and he city council welcomed the group and discussed how the shopping streets and markets could become more attractive and lively. Ideas have been developed, models have been made, and designs are now prototyped.

They have also worked with artist Paul Merrick and a variety of architecture, urban design and planning professionals from Mawson Kerr, Ryder Architecture and Newcastle University.

Finally the group was challenged to deliver an ‘action’ in Sunderland, to think about their own role in the city and what they could do themselves to help change the way people see and think about Sunderland and what young people can contribute.

So they developed their own range of Sunderland-inspired products and trialled a pop-up market in Keel Square. With new-found confidence and panache, they even managed to get Sir Nicholas Serota to wear one of their -shirts!

The group now plan to design and build their own market stall and continue to develop their products.

Lowri Bond, project manager, ‘Community and Place’ at igloo explained: “This project has brought together fantastic ideas about a city relating to enterprise, vibrancy, sustainability, design and creativity. They’ve also had the confidence and the opportunity to put themselves and their own actions  at the heart of all that. their enthusiasm and willingness has been inspirational. Its been powerful to see the group realise that they can have a direct and positive impact on where they live.”

For more information about the project, please email: