Young Viennese co-design their neighborhood

The city council of Viena set out to increase the youth participation in the public life, inviting them to come up with ideas to revitalize the economy in district 14, one of the more humble neighborhoods in the city. Aware of the possibilities that digitalization offers, the technicians of the city council decided to professionalize the technical and strategic part of the project. They followed the habitual process of drawing up a communication plan which included actions to spread the word, provide training and offer face-to-face workshops. But this time, they added a participation website to increase reach. The measures that were to be taken were then presented at a final event.

Kuorum has years of experience with this type of consultancy work and knows how important the combination of face-to-face activities and participation platforms is to achieve maximum progress through these processes.

After familiarizing themselves with the situation, the Kuorum team sat with the city council of Vienna to outline the plan of action which would serve as a roadmap for the entire project. Bearing in mind the stakeholders? work as well as the dates of the training sessions, workshops and the online debates, they proceeded with the communication actions to inform the citizens about the beginning of the process.

The training sessions with the stakeholders were used to familiarize them with the subject matter and explain to them the new participation website. Subsequently, with the support of this core group, the phase of workshops in schools and civic centers in district 14 was kicked off. Each workshop consisted of two sessions. During the first session, the participants gathered ideas by applying creativity techniques. All of these proposals went directly into the online debate. Then, during the second session, evaluation techniques were used to increase the quality the ideas that the city council had identified as the most interesting ones.

Once this process had finished, the Kuorum team compiled a report with which the city council could select the proposals that would be carried out. Also, a final event took place which was attended by citizens and the press. The Councillor of Youth presented the commitments made by the local government and thanked everyone involved in the process. She also announced the possibility to keep track of the progress of these commitments through the participation website.

Participatory processes like this, which combine online environments with training sessions and face-to-face workshops, allow for a greater volume of participation and a higher quality of the received proposals. Other examples of collaborative work to increase the quality of life in cities are the cases of Toledo and Manchester.