Young Urbanists was initiated by Future Cape Town in 2014, and was incubated as a space for young people working within the urbanism sector to meet, engage and debate. The intention was for activities to be member driven, rather than institutionally organised. 

In 2016, a member-based steering committee was formed with the intention of broadening the focus to include a platform for constructive, interdisciplinary dialogue. 

With the change, came the opportunity for the members of the group to reflect on what the group is, and formulate what the group can be. In doing so, a manifesto workshop was held in 2017, to establish a way forward.