How can participation formats be made more attractive so that citizens become more actively involved in planning processes? Which criteria have to be paid more attention to when developing instruments and methods? These central questions were discussed at a virtual stakeholder event as part of the e-smartec project.

In order to better understand the current participatory behaviour of the Hessian population in mobility planning processes, a citizen survey on marketing and participation methods was carried out at the end of last year. The results of the survey will be used for making participation formats even more attractive in the future.

In the frame of the survey it was found that nearly half of the respondents regularly get updated on mobility planning processes in the region. However, just under one-third have already taken part in such processes, and only 21% of the respondents stated that they felt “well” or “very well” involved in the mobility planning processes in their region.

It also became clear that participation methods involving minimal effort –such as surveys, digital participation opportunities or community workshops – tend to achieve a higher response rate. The full results of the survey are available in German on the FZ-NUM website.

A milestone on the path to more citizen participation was the e-smartec stakeholder event, which took place virtually with approximately 25 participants—mainly from municipalities, districts and associations—on the 22nd of January 2021. The aim of the event was to jointly develop – on the basis of the survey results –initial ideas for possible measures that would encourage more active participation of citizens in mobility planning processes.

The results from the stakeholder event are now being incorporated into the development of the e-smartec project action plan. By the end of the project phase in July 2021, this action plan should work as a strategic and action-oriented framework containing concrete methods and measures for enhanced participation of citizens in mobility planning processes. The initial draft of the content is to be presented for discussion in a second stakeholder event in April 2021.

The Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Urban Mobility of the State of Hesse (FZ-NUM) participates in the EU-funded Interreg project “e-smartec” for the State of Hesse. The aim of the current project period, which runs until July 2021, is to develop tailor-made participation and marketing instruments for mobility planning processes in Hesse. As part of e-smartec, atene KOM takes on technical advice and support for the FZ-NUM.