Can it be possible to find a compromise between citizens' initiatives and urban developers for the design of the last large open space in a city in the centre of the Ruhr region? Can citizens from civil society, business and politics come together to develop a vision for their own city, the future of their own children and grandchildren in their city?
Together with the mayor's office in Herne, the Berlin Governance Platform team, led by Gesine Schwan, brought together the most important players in the city of Herne to act as a Municipal development council to adopt a joint recommendation on the design of the General Blumenthal area - with success. On 9 November 2022, the final document was unanimously adopted and submitted to Herne City Council as the basis for the redesign.
The pilot project was supported by the E.ON Foundation promoted.
Together with the office of Lord Mayor Frank Dudda, the Berlin Governance Platform team led by Prof Dr Gesine Schwan piloted the Municipal Development Advisory Board in Herne, in which 26 representatives from politics, administration, business and civil society took part between January and November 2022. A recommendation was developed for the design of a 25-hectare brownfield site in the centre of the city, bringing together ecological, social and economic perspectives. The recommendations were presented to Herne City Council and Lord Mayor Frank Dudda and now form the basis for further planning of the site's redevelopment. Innovative reporting via a blog and Instagram channel, as well as a public event in the pedestrian zone, enabled the public to follow the process and get involved.
"The Municipal Development Advisory Board has brought together groups of people who would not have met under "normal" circumstances. This has resulted in an incredibly exciting dialogue, which has been written down in recommendations for action."
"I have learnt that, as a committed citizen, I can play an active role in the future development and shaping of my community and that my voice is heard."