Module 4. Civic participation

Citizens’ involvement and the participation of diverse stakeholders are crucial for a successful revitalization process. While it is already a well recognized tool that is popular in the planning phase, participation is presented within the REVIPOWER framework public as a crucial component in human health protection and urban footprint mitigation in revitalized areas.

The success of  energy- and resource-efficient behaviour, the usability of green public spaces, and sustainable transportation choices depend as much on the implementation of good infrastructure solutions as they do on citizens’ habits.

Revitalization is a holistic process that requires an integrated and multidimensional approach; citizen involvement should be an inherent part of every stage of the process. Regardless of the unitary scale of the venture, citizens are, in a sense, co-investors and the guarantors of project success. They should not only discuss project ideas, but participate – in line with their capabilities and needs – in the whole implementation cycle.

Each REVIPOWER training module proposes techniques, tools and approaches that enable the active involvement of the local community as an important part of project design, implementation and evaluation.

The project overviews the following available tools, approaches and solutions for public participation that have successfully been implemented by Polish and German local governments:

- diagnosis of residents’ needs and available resources (Module 1),

- charette workshops, in which sustainable urban patterns for whole districts are designed in conjunction with the local community, including citizens, businesses and local government (Module 2),

- pedestrian audits improving the quality of local mobility, or safe-road-to-school projects conducted with school children (Module 2)

- in-house counselling on energy efficient behaviour (Module 4, Stromspar-check).

The best practice from the revitalization process conducted in Potsdam-Drewitz, financed by, among others, the KfW 432 Programme (Energetische Stadtsanierung), showcases the involvement of citizens in the whole process not only bringing a behavioural change in their everyday choices but also delivering real results in the field of environmental protection. In the case of Potsdam-Drewitz, among others, the car-dependence rate was lowered and allowed a substantial CO2 emissions reduction ( 818 metric tonnes)

FACILITATOR OBJECTIVES:

  • Show the nexus between revitalization and public participation.
  • Present various participative methods useful in the process of resource and energy efficient revitalization and provide basic knowledge on how to introduce them.
  • Introduce best practices from Germany that concentrate on direct consultancy methods: in-house audit & consultations on energy efficiency – Stromspar-check and walkability audits – Fussverkehrs-check.