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Baseline review

Lower Silesia: Survey on residential preferences

In order to prepare analysis of individual preferences (integration of settlement structure planning with transport planning, taking advantage of varied forms of transport and better coordination, preservation of landscape and architectural values characteristic for village and city), in poviat Jelenia Gora a survey was prepared and conducted by a group of experts from the Architecture Faculty of the University of Technology. The questions of the survey were elaborated based on the three predefined challenges; i.e. mobility and accessibility, residential preferences, and provision of services. In total, more than 300 people, consisting of inhabitants and employees, participated in the survey, and the respondents from public administration dominated. The results of the survey supported the planning process of the Lower Silesia Pilot Action.

Turku: Resident survey on the living preferences “On the border of city and countryside“

Turku conducted a resident survey on the living preferences “On the border of city and countryside”. The specific individual preferences were examined through questions concerning current living preferences, provision of services, mobility and transport issues. The enquiry was open for all on the web page of the city of Turku.

Hamburg: Resident survey

As a part of the baseline review Hamburg prepared a questionnaire, which was sent via postal service. The respondents could return it back either via postal service or filled out electronically on the internet. There were different questionnaires for rural and for urban areas. The questions were developed on the basis of the results of the two workshops, where the stakeholders from the whole Northern Germany discussed on various urban-rural questions. The detailed questionnaire was then developed in by a smaller group together with the consultant who conducted the survey.

The addressed stakeholders were chosen on the basis of the two workshops, and later, before the survey started; more stakeholders were chosen using a snowball technique. Snowball sampling is a sampling technique where existing study subjects recruit future subjects from among their acquaintances. Thus the sample group appears to grow like a rolling snowball. The results of the empirical analysis helped to prioritise challenges for urban-rural regions of the 10 challenges, that were agreed on within the previous phase.

Turku urban region: Study on residential preferences

Turku conducted a study on residential preference in the Turku urban region to gather information to support the urban planning process in the region. A questionnaire was sent to 3000 households in the region. The study indicated differences of residential preferences on urban detached or terraced housing with diverse commercial and public services in the residential area or close to it. The challenge for the urban planning is to develop housing construction in a sustainable direction.

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Organizational set-up

Örebro: Organisational Set-up

During the NEW BRIDGES implementation process Örebro has developed specific city-regional organizational structure for implementing the planned action. Three different types of cross-sectoral working groups were build-up:
1.The Steering Group was represented by politicians and high level officials of two neighboring municipalities. It discussed and commented project activities in the Pilot Action area, but had no right to make a political decision. Political decision were made only by the local governments of municipalities.
2.The Project Working Group was represented by civil servants from two neighboring municipalities, Swedish Transport Administration, and Örebro Regional Development Council. It discussed, planned and reported on the results related to the main Pilot Action (In-depth Master plan). Group regularly received information on project activities, results, and discussed how to continue the process in Örebro. It was divided into the following working subgroups:

  • Project planning group on Transport issues.
  • Project planning group for better involvement of children in the physical planning.

3.The Citizens’ meeting was represented by inhabitants and NGOs living and working in the geographic area of the Pilot Action. Meetings aimed at increasing citizens’ involvement in planning and learning more about citizens’ needs and wishes concerning the planned area. Six meetings were organized, and they resulted in a suggestion for In-depth Master plan for these municipalities of the region.

Target setting

Örebro: Participation and quality of life for all

An important aspect of the planning process is to find ways to involve citizens who are often excluded from conventional participation processes. The production of maps that are easy to understand (“children’s maps”) within the geographical information system GIS is one method which has been developed in order to support the participation of children and young people in planning. In Örebro, with the computer-based programme children expressed their feelings about the environment they were living. The children marked into digital maps their homes, their routes to school, the places and roads they used in their leisure time and their favourite places as well as those they perceived to be either dangerous or unpleasant.

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Hiiumaa: Detailed plan for close surroundings of Kärdla Harbour

After a baseline review the detailed plan of close surrounding of Kärdla harbour area was chosen as the Pilot Action because the reconstruction of Kärdla harbour was foreseen, and the surrounding area needed a development plan. The actual planning process started with the meeting of the representatives of local and regional authorities. Later residents, architects, journalists, landowners, and some institutions were involved. The plan was open for public hearing in the premises of Kärdla Municipality and gained a lot of interest.

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Kaunas: Brainstorming session and mind mapping

Brainstorming session and mind mapping were used in Kaunas to analyse the priority challenges (public transport; cycling paths; urban-rural residents’ opinions research on communication), identified at the earlier stages of the project. The mind mapping helped to generate ideas. It was agreed that it is impossible to talk about cycling paths without talking about public transport and these were recognised as a priority. With the assistance of moderator, common goals of Kaunas District and Kaunas City municipalities were identified. Municipalities agreed on one pilot action: Development of Sustainable Transport. The consensus was reached because of well informed participants and political support from the highest political level of both local authorities.

Involvement and communication


Turku urban region: Local Stakeholder Meeting

Turku urban region used local stakeholder meetings to find and select the appropriate areas for the Pilot Action at the early stage of the project.

Local Stakeholder Meeting was divided into two parts: presentations and thematic workshops. Each workshop set potential Pilot Action areas related to the predefined priority challenges (residential preferences, mobility, and services).

In the residential preferences workshop the participants were divided into three subgroups and each was given a task to point out 3–5 areas suitable for the Pilot Actions related to the three priority challenges and to explain why each area should be selected. Each subgroup presented their proposals to the whole group, and the final decision on the Pilot Action was made by voting when each participant had three votes.

The workshop on mobility worked as one group and discussed possible Pilot Actions and areas in Turku urban region within the scope of the priority challenge on mobility and accessibility.

The workshop on services worked in two subgroups. Participants of the first subgroup decided to choose four different areas for Pilot Actions and young people as service consumers in these areas as a target group. The second subgroup discussed about the changes in the service structure in the future and decided to choose two different Pilot Actions.

The results of all three workshops were presented and discussed at the end of the meeting.

Turku urban region: Cross-sectoral working group meeting

Regional Council of Southwest Finland organized a cross-sectoral working group meeting to support the implementation of the Pilot Action taking place in several municipalities in the western part of the Turku urban region. The purpose of this meeting organized in Masku, one of the municipalities in the region, was, together with stakeholders, representing different municipalities, research institutes, associations and other organization in the city-region, to discuss and suggest new ways for organising services in the Pilot Action area and to evaluate the accessibility of the current services using different modes of transport.

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Örebro: Cross-sectoral working group meeting

Örebro organized a cross-sectoral working group meeting to support the process of developing a common In-depth Master Plan for the municipalities of Örebro and Lekeberg and encouraging the participation of different actors in the planning process. A moderator was engaged for the meeting. The meeting was divided into several sessions, and the participants, representing various groups, had different roles in the meeting. The results of the discussion and all proposals were analysed and used in the on-going process for the In-depth Master Plan development.

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Turku: Communication through Website

During the project Turku maintained a website informing about the progress of the project. The website was part of the official site of the City of Turku. The site was used for information about the events and meetings organised within the Pilot Action process, for registration to different events as well as for publishing the main achievements of the planning process. Relevant material and documents were also published in the website. That was the way by which the stakeholders in the region, who were not actively participating in the implementation of the project, were kept updated on the progress.

Lower Silesia: Mailing List

The mailing list of people interested in the subject of the quality of life was created in Lower Silesia. The list was used not only to inform about the meetings in the region but also about the next steps within the project. That helped to involve more stakeholders for the project implementation and keep them updated on the progress at individual level.

Turku: looking for new ways to involve residents

In any project regarding spatial planning, it is relatively easy to reach the official parties, concerned landowners and people protesting against a particular project. However, it is difficult to reach the individual level and especially if the project covers urban area. Turku has used several approaches to involve individual people:

  • involvement of active NGO’s. It was important to have clear topics and the areas because this made easier to identify and reach relevant individual stakeholders.
  • presentation of the concrete plans, studies, etc. at the beginning of the planning process because it was easier to involve people with a concrete issue at hand.
  • local workshops were used in later stages. Workshops were focused on particular topics and sub-areas, for example, held in a particular area over a particular topic.
  • availability of materials on the development of the process for the public (published in the internet).
  • common language for discussions. Important issue in reaching the individual stakeholders was to find a common language for discussions because planning terms and maps could be not clear for all.

Political commitment

Örebro: Getting political commitment in Örebro

Örebro set up the Steering Group represented by politicians and chiefs of two municipalities. The group used to discuss and come to conclusions about common activities and projects between the two municipalities, but it had no right to make political decisions. All political decision had to be made by the local governments of the two municipalities. This group assisted for the Project Working Group, which was represented by civil servants from both Municipalities, the Swedish Transports Administration, and Örebro Regional Development Council. The group discussed, planned and reported on the results connected to the main Pilot Action (In-depth Master plan) and the other working groups/activities related to the Pilot Action.

Implementation and monitoring

Hiiumaa: Peer visits – learning from others

Peer visits helped in shaping and developing Hiiumaa’s Pilot Action, i.e. the detailed plan for close surrounding of Kärdla harbour. During the project Hiiumaa representatives visited Hamburg in Germany and the Turku archipelago in Finland. Reflecting on other region’s activities helped to see and evaluate their own procedures from a different point of view. It also helped to prevent repeating mistakes made elsewhere and showed that there was no need to constantly reinvent the wheel.

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Kaunas: Regional Cycling Scheme

The process began with a dialogue between representatives of Kaunas district and Kaunas City municipality and representatives of different groups and communities. It was discussed what actions would make the region a better place for local people to live and attractive to visit. It was discovered that developing a sustainable transport network in the region, and especially the development of cycling infrastructure and creation of Kaunas district cycling paths scheme, was a common aim for all of the participants. As the result of the project the Cycling Scheme was finalised and included in the Master Plan and Kaunas District Strategy 2007-2013. The document provides an important starting point for the development of cycling in the city region.

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Lower Silesia: Integrated transport planning in Jelenia Gora

After discussions of various public institutions on the improvement of the quality of life in the region, it became clear that there was a need for an integrated transport system covering the whole region. Five local stakeholder meetings were organised in the region designed to involve various groups in the planning process. The concept of integrated transport system, which utilises various transportation modes including cycling, railway, and bus connections, was prepared in a cooperative process.

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Evaluation and reporting

Örebro: Reflections on the Results of the Project

Almost all goals were reached, especially in the view of stronger co-operation between the two municipalities and involvement of citizens, and NGO:s. The planners were also satisfied about having the citizen’s opinions when working for the Master plan. However, looking at the results, it became clear what else had to be done in order to raise the sustainability of the city region.

Cross-sectoral meetings was an important method to make the traditional social planning more visionary and more sustainable in all three dimensions, i.e. ecological, economic, and social. Cross-sectoral meetings and working groups created an opportunity to learn and take notice of “all” sectors, to start planning across municipality borders, and better involve all citizens.
Planners, civil servants, and involved politicians were satisfied with their involvement in the process. Even if the project coordination team did a lot in inviting and involving the citizens, evaluation indicated that citizens wanted to be even more involved, informed and to have more dialogue with experts and decisions makers. Good interaction, stronger co-operation over the municipal border, and increased involvement of the citizens could be mentioned as the result. Quality of life became more visible in the planning process. A strategy was constructed and it seems that the participants managed to follow it.

City of Turku: Reflections on the Results of the Project

The cross-sectoral working group meetings helped to get local perspective about citizens’ needs for local connections and services, it also allowed to inform and discuss about the priority actions with stakeholders from several municipalities. Meetings brought together land use planners, traffic planners, office-holders from the service sector, NGO’s and other stakeholders and made discussion between different municipalities and sectors possible. The stakeholders feedback helped Turku urban region to assess the possibilities of new housing areas in existing settlements, mobility and accessibility as well as provision and usage of service across municipal borders. In the meetings in other pilot areas sustainable mobility concept and the implementation of plans were discussed. Project gave valuable information needed for further collaboration between the municipalities and sectors in planning services in the area.