Participation 2.0 – social media and planning processes

Participation 2.0 – social media and planning processes

The way of planning and designingIMG_3905-1024x683 the living
environment of people has an immediate effect on the quality of living. Involving citizens and stakeholders in planning processes has become increasingly more common and appreciated. How can we therefore facilitate more fruitful communication and thereby initiate effective participation?

For the research project “Participation 2.0” an active way of participation was selected. “Participation 2.0” investigates the requirements, wishes and needs of different groups concerning public space, urban gardening and green architecture. Requirements, ideas as well as experiences with green living and urban gardening were identified and evaluated via various communication approaches like focus group interviews, web 2.0 applications together with face-to-face communication approaches like open action days and interactive workshops. Additionally, several expert interviews were conducted in co-operation with municipal officials from the City of Vienna.

All contributions, experiences and inputs were documented, processed and made accessible for landscape and land-use planning purposes. A major outcome of this project was the transforming of generated knowledge into concepts for urban open spaces and the ecological transformations for constructing more “green buildings” with a focus on kitchen gardening. Part of this project focused on the requirements for equipment, design, vegetation and crop plants used in developing kitchen gardens. Another aspect of this project focused on the organization, cultivation and care required from building residents. Analysis of the numerous requirements for potential users formed the basis for checking scenarios according to their economical, architectural, greening techniques and degree of ecological feasibility. As a result, input given by interested participants from the earliest stages of the planning process helped to influence the process of housing construction and development of open space according to the requirements and wishes of residents and thereby transform the development of the construction process.

The project was originally designed to encourage participation among an interested public to participate in the technical development process of the urban concept “CompactGardenLiving”. Due to a delay concerning land zoning for the permitted area, other premises and urban open space typologies served as substitutes for the research project. Planning drafts, instruments and procedures were prepared and clarified in order to be made more intelligible for an interested public. The knowledge about the technical plans and reports made accessible to non-professionals formed the technical basis for participation. In contrast to being merely informative, the consultant approaches of communication forms an integral part of planning processes: informing, presenting, discussing, moderating, motivating, promoting acceptance, finding solutions to problems and encouraging actions. The goal of this project was to include gender mainstreaming within the planning process as well as incorporate the diverse set of realities for female and male residents in the developing buildings and open space typologies. Consequently, architecture and open space had experienced an increase in quality and became more need-orientated. Thus by creating transparent planning processes at all stages, a creative forum for landscape planners, architects and civil society has made urban spaces more flexible and tangible.


Further information is available in German or please contact:
period: July 2012 – December 2013
Büro für nachhaltige Kompetenz B-NK GmbH
Dipl.-Ing. Ralf Dopheide e.U.
Arch. Dr. Christian Kronaus
Bundesministerium für Verkehr, Innovation und Technologie (BMVIT)
Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)