In Frankfurt and Heidelberg the first Rapid Planning capacity building workshop with participants from all three partner cities took place from 22nd to 29h of May. It had been developed in close cooperation with the Environmental Department and the Energy Agency of the City of Frankfurt as well as the Regional Association Frankfurt Rhein-Main and also included different Departments of the city of Heidelberg. The five-day-full-time program concentrated on city planning challenges within the core subjects of Rapid planning with a special emphasis on transsectoral planning issues and was designed as a mixture between experts’ presentations, on site visits and very fruitful workshop discussions, which gave very valuable mutual insights into the respective local planning environments. Within the final wrap up discussions, the guests from Assyut, Kigali and DaNang emphasized at least two major take-away messages, which they regarded as very interesting and promising points of planning related collaboration:
- Urban green space and urban open space design and management within the city center and also within new suburban city developments
- Reutilization and renaturation of urban landscapes
- Clear separation of the political and technical level of decision making in urban planning processes as a good basis for fruitful collaboration and long-term-oriented decisions
- well defined and mutually agreed citizens’ participation in urban planning processes
- Multi-actors collaboration in urban planning processes including skills and recommendations from scientists
Beyond the central Rapid Planning issues, the interventions of the municipalities to decrease the dependency of transport on private cars were highly recognized by our foreign guests, but on the other hand they also emphasized that the signage and labelling within the public transport system hardly allows foreigners to move from place A to B without continuously asking locals.
At the end of the very “dense” workshop program, whose discussions were often revived and intensified within the common evening hours, the RP guests were awarded with a special Rapid Planning certificate of participation by the central coordinator of the BMBF funding programme, Dr. Andrea Koch-Kraft.