Public consultation on the General Master Plan
The General Master Plan (GMP) of the City of Torino, its main planning instrument for land use and transformation issued in 1995, is undergoing a process of updating to tackle the changing conditions that the city is facing from an economic, social and regulatory point of view.
The goal of the City of Torino is to improve the standards of the revised GMP in terms of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency through regulations and incentives that might favour low carbon measures.
Torino thus decided to enlarge the scope of the MOLOC local stakeholders group and promote a series of public initiatives to inform citizens on the development of the GMP revision process and gather inputs from the local community.
The urban Planning Department of City of Torino, with Urban Center Metropolitano, organized 5 weekly public meetings called “I mercoledì del piano – The Masterplan’s Wednesdays” to talk about 5 of the main strands emerged during the preliminary revision works:
- Cultural heritage & landscape
- Mobility, housing and services
- Research, innovation, education and University
- Business and Trade
The meetings were held in front of the City Hall in the open air to encourage citizens to listen and interact, and broadcasted by the local Radio Flash to reach a wider audience.
More than 500 people attended the initiative, including policy makers, civil servants, local associations, students, journalists and private citizens.
600 € communication costs;
600 € security costs for event in the open air;
approx 3,600 € for 5 radio broadcasts;
1 person full time for 2 months
Evidence of success
The most evident indicator of success for the good practice is the number of people that attended the meetings (on average 100 people per meeting) and the constant presence of the local decision makers (each meeting was attended by the Vice Mayor of the City and the Deputy Mayor in charge of the specific topic). The online platform www.torinosiprogetta.it is also a useful tool for citizenship information and inclusion in the transformation process.
Potential for learning or transfer
The Mercoledì del Piano should not be seen just as public assemblies or participatory meetings for the co-design of a public policy linked to the urban planning of the city. They are first of all a moment of dialogue between the local administration – including both the political and the technical level - and the citizenship. In many cases, actually, new measures and regulations are not easily accepted by the citizenship because people are not well informed about the process and the reasons for the local decisions. The practice of letting people get more familiar with the details of a process, with the politicians and offices, with the timing and topics of the projects is a way to ensure a better acceptance and a deeper knowledge of the local governance system. This activities can be easily transferred to other cities and contexts, by being adapted to the local situation and to the existing participatory/information practices already in place.
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