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Citizens' participation: We are part of our city
Citizens' participation: We are part of our city

Video: Citizens' participation: We are part of our city

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Video: Building a City Needs Citizen Participation | Yupin Li | TEDxUofT 2023, February

Many citizens today want to actively help develop their city district. They collect and discuss ideas on the Internet, participate early in the planning of specific projects - and some even finance them through crowdfunding.

The Luchtsingel pedestrian bridge in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, is 390 meters long, made of wood and connects the center of the city with the north via busy streets. A long neglected quarter receives a new lifeline that contributes a lot to its revitalization. What is special about the ZUS Architects project is that it was entirely financed through crowdfunding. Citizens or companies paid for the components listed on the Internet: a single plank was available for 25 euros. The possibility of immortalizing one's own name on the wood obviously also motivated the people of Rotterdam.


The new bridge connects a long-neglected area with the city center.

Photo: Ossip van duivenbode

Win-win in Bremen: More and more citizens in Germany are actively helping to shape their hometowns and villages. In the “New Hulsberg Quarter” project in Bremen, the city administration actively involves the citizens: a large clinic moves, and 14 hectares of land are freed up. A sustainable and socially mixed residential area should now be created there. Citizens' participation does not begin (as usual) when the development plan is discussed. The administration informs the citizens from the start in several participation forums. For their part, they report their own core demands for traffic management, social mix or green spaces at an early stage. The administration takes up many approaches and in return gets more acceptance for the large-scale project.

Platform for committed people: The NextHamburg initiative is a group of architects, planners and sociologists who see themselves as a non-profit “urban development incubator”. Since 2009 she has been collecting ideas for the city of tomorrow on an online platform and has them discussed by the users. The 300 most popular projects of the Next Hamburg community ultimately result in a “citizens' vision” for Hamburg in 2030. The ideas range from community gardening in public greenhouses to a “district of experiments”. Even if some things sound utopian: "Citizens' assessments and ideas can enrich our cities enormously", initiator Julian Petrin is convinced. An opinion that finds more and more followers.

Citizens want to have more say:

58% would like to have more influence in the community, especially in these areas:

Traffic planning 71%
Construction projects 65%
environmental Protection 44%
Financial budget 43%
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