In urban development, there is an increased need to develop integrative spatial strategies for area development that are based on the input of various stakeholders from different perspectives. One example is the city of Rotterdam with a densification strategy that combines sustainability goals with economic growth and social development. Another example is the urban development of Beirut where private development threatens the accessibility and preservation of the coastline and where awareness for the need of public space and cultural heritage is low.
But how can different stakeholders participate in the planning process and what skills do they need to make their point? To support and stimulate multi-stakeholder planning processes Veldacademie collaborates with the IHS to develop a training for integrated urban development with focus on practical tools and actual (real life?) case studies. The aim of the training is to empower a broad range of stakeholders to participate in urban planning processes. Target groups for the training are professionals or students with a non-spatial background and citizens or volunteers engaged as stakeholders in urban development processes.
The case of Lebanon
In Lebanese cities, there is a lack of access to public space: there is not enough public space, public space is inaccessible, not inclusive, or it does not have sufficient (spatial) quality. Nahnoo, a youth-led non-governmental organisation engaging volunteers across Lebanon to work towards an inclusive society through advocacy campaigns that promote good governance, public spaces, and cultural heritage. Through multidisciplinary and participatory research, capacity-building workshops, and grassroot activities, they provide a platform to engage citizens in urban development activities and acquire skills needed to impact policy-making at local and national levels. Nahnoo’s campaigns are very successful and attract many volunteers from different backgrounds who want to get involved in their projects. Therefor the staff of Nahnoo is looking for tools that can easily implemented in their projects and make their work more effective. In collaboration with Nahnoo, the NDU and the IHS we develop a custom made ‘training of trainers toolbox’. The toolbox is and will be developed in practice in Beirut with a group of staff members and volunteers.
Challenges in Dutch cities
In Dutch cities, there is an increased need to develop integrative and adaptive spatial strategies that are based on the input of various stakeholders. An example is the city of Rotterdam. The number of people residing in Rotterdam is growing quickly, which results in a housing shortage. Therefore, the city is developing new housing projects in partnership with developers among others, while it has to deal at the same time with contemporary challenges and opportunities related to energy transition, (un)employment, economic reform or changing mobility patterns. In order to address such issues, analyse them and prepare a (spatial) vision on how to deal with the challenges and opportunities in multi-stakeholder arrangements, it is essential that there is a basic shared knowledge base among those stakeholders. However, in reality, this is often missing and stakeholders don’t feel equipped to fully participate in planning processes. Therefor the Municipality of Rotterdam has decided to implement the training within its organization.
- IHS (Institute for Housing and Urban Development Studies)
- NDU (Notre Dame University-Louaize)
Client/ Grant Provider
- Nuffic/ Orange Knowledge Programme
- Municipality of Rotterdam
February – October 2019