What does successful public participation look like in Wuppertal? What do we have to think about when designing public participation processes? And where can I, as a citizen of Wuppertal, actually get involved if I want to influence the city’s initiatives and projects? These and other questions were discussed in a large-scale process by citizens, representatives of the administration, and Wuppertal’s politicians.
Linking Online and Offline Participation
The participation in the development of Wuppertal’s participation guidelines was a multi-stage process that combined a pure offline participation component with a broad online participation via the CrowdInsights platform leitlinien.wuppertal.de.
The development of the guidelines was initially started analogously with a kick-off event in the summer of 2016. Around 120 participants discussed their individual ideas for successful citizen participation in the school cafeteria of the Barmen Gesamtschule. The results of the event were recorded in writing and subsequently included as part of an online dialogue on the leitlinien.wuppertal.de platform.
In a second step, the online dialogue was advertised via various media. Citizens were allowed to answer the question “How do you imagine successful citizen participation in Wuppertal?” anonymously or personalised on the leitlinien.wuppertal platform and to actively participate in the analysis by condensing answers into core statements and linking core statements with proposed findings. Subsequently, the proposed findings were sifted through by the moderation and merged where necessary. The final findings were published on 29 June 2016. Anyone interested could then read the findings and the supporting key statements on the CrowdInsights platform. Starting in September 2016, the findings became the basis for working group with equal representation (citizens, politicians, administration), which worked in a series of working group meetings on the formulation of a first draft of the Wuppertal Guidelines.
The results of the working group were again presented to interested citizens and put up for discussion at a citizens’ workshop on 29 March 2017. The suggestions obtained during the event were then integrated by the working group into the final draft of the guidelines and submitted to the council for decision.