Can a compromise be found between citizens' initiatives and urban developers for the design of the last free large area of a city in the middle of the Ruhr region? Can citizens from civil society, business and politics sit down at one table to develop a vision for their own city and the future of their own children and grandchildren in their city? Together with the office of the Mayor of Herne, the team of the Berlin Governance Platform under the leadership of Gesine Schwan brought together the most important stakeholders of the city of Herne to adopt a joint recommendation for the design of the General Blumenthal area as a municipal development advisory council- with success. On November 9, the final document was unanimously adopted and handed over to the Herne City Council as a basis for the redesign of the area.
Together with the office of Mayor Frank Dudda, the Berlin Governance Platform team led by Prof. Dr. Gesine Schwan piloted the Municipal Development Council in Herne, in which 26 representatives from politics, administration, business and civil society participated between January and November 2022. A recommendation was developed for the design of a 25-hectare brownfield site in the middle of the city, which brought together ecological, social and economic perspectives. The recommendations were handed over to the Herne City Council and Lord Mayor Frank Dudda, and now form the basis for further planning for the redevelopment of the site. Through innovative reporting via a blog and Instagram channel, as well as a public event in the pedestrian zone, the public was able to follow the process and get involved.
"The Municipal Development Council has brought together groups of people who would not have met under "normal" circumstances. This has resulted in an incredibly exciting exchange, which has been written down in recommendations for action."
"I learned that as an engaged citizen, I can actively participate in the future development and shaping of my community, that my voice is heard."