Establish, in a citizen competition, together with Leipzig citizens the traffic concept for the mobility development in Leipzig in the next years.
The aim of the Leipzig citizen competition was to intensify the participation of citizens in the continuation of the urban development plan for traffic and public space and it was conceived as a broad call for ideas. Three different categories of competition have been established, which correspond to the typical categories of transport planning:
o City-wide ideas
o Ideas for districts
o Small-scale ideas, e.g. for residential areas
These guidelines should create an incentive to participate. The categories were formed in order to be able to assign and evaluate the submitted ideas in the end. In addition, these ideas were intended as low-threshold offer to reach a broad public and motivate them to participate. Especially the two small-scale categories were particularly suitable for participation, because within this category, traffic issues from the immediate everyday life could be addressed. Citizens were able to comment on specific transport and mobility-related problems, they could express their needs. For example, a woman traveling with children and baby carriages has the need to find a walkway that has a comfortable width and is in a good condition, an older person may have similar needs, but someone else like a cyclist has the need of marked bike paths. So, the need depends on the persons and their different living conditions. Beside the articulation of the different needs, there was also a possibility to propose solutions, and bring these into the planning process.
Accompanying to the participation process a round table was arranged to ensure a high-quality participation process. The federal grant for the pilot participation process at the project "Masterplan Mobility 2025" was approved in the amount of € 50,000.00.
Evidence of success
The jury received 382 submissions that contained 618 ideas. 3 ideas were selected for each, the city-wide ideas + the ideas for districts category. In the small-scale ideas’ category, 6 ideas were selected. In the second phase of the competition, several guided workshops took place to deepen these ideas. Then, the city’s responsible department elaborated the ideas further and developed a final concept with actions which were integrated in the urban development plan for traffic and public space.
A basic problem is the unfulfillable expectation of citizen participation. For a citizens participation process it is necessary to find the same language for all, each person is different, each person has another level of education, and it was important to speak to all of them.
Potential for learning or transfer
The novelty of a citizen competition creates curiosity and willingness to engage as a citizen. In this respect, the concept of "First Citizens Competition Transport of the Future in City XY" is very well transferable to other cities. It would also be exciting to see to what extent a comparable participation process with concrete questions on traffic or on a traffic concept for the entire city or a district could work. In any case, we also think that the implementation of small citizen competitions at district level is very promising. The potential at the “Leipziger Bürgerwettbewerb Ideen für den Stadtverkehr” is that this process could be applied, as it is now, to other topics and issues.It seems that citizen's competitions could generally be apt to name different issues or problems in early stages of the design and to show innovative ideas or perspectives. Especially with regard to the topics of civil society, social city concrete questions could reach a high level of resonance.
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