At Cities of Tomorrow #7 the focus lies on communities and their engagement in urban development. Therefore, one of the main discussion topics will be public consultation and civil participation.

A contemporary best practice example in this regard is project Raumwerk D of Düsseldorf, dealing with the reconfiguration of the urban development plan of the entire city.

Coming straight from the Urban Planning Department of Düsseldorf, Ms. Judith Artmann and Mr. Leif von Nethen will share with us the details of the project.

About Düsseldorf & Raumwerk D

Düsseldorf is the state capital of North Rhine-Westphalia – the most populous federal state in Germany. Currently there are about 640.000 inhabitants living on about 21.700 hectares of urban area. For a variety of reasons - including numerous legal restrictions - the space for further urban growth is very limited.

At the same time, urban development in Düsseldorf is subject to very dynamic developments. Population growth exceeds all past forecasts. The natural population dynamics and the influxes from the region and from all over the world are increasing. These social changes - supplemented by political and technological changes - have numerous effects on the spatial development of the city. To meet these challenges, appropriate urban planning solutions must be developed at urban level as a whole, within individual urban districts, and also at neighbourhood level. And they have to be secured by appropriate planning instruments.

The comprehensive participation of all involved and interested actors is an essential element in the development of urban planning solutions in Düsseldorf. The early and intensive participation during the planning process ensures transparency and acceptance already during the development of different solutions.

In addition to various participation approaches established in Düsseldorf - such as the quality assurance procedure - the participation system of the “Raumwerk D” process will especially be presented.

The development process for “Raumwerk D” has been set up since the end of 2017. “Raumwerk D” will be a new urban development concept for the entire city. After a preparatory and participation phase lasting one and a half years, phase 1 - working on first drafts for the future city development - will begin in the early summer of 2019. The knowledge gained in the course of the extensive participation served as an essential basis for the formulation of the task and still serves as an important input for commissioned planning offices, even before the process of development begins.

About the speakers

Judith Artmann has an academic background in geography and living experience in several large and medium-sized cities in Germany. She was involved in various EU-funded projects and worked for municipalities and regional redevelopment agencies, assisting the implementation of different urban renewal tasks and elaborating spatial analyses or development concepts. Currently responsible for urban planning matters in Düsseldorf, in her presentation Judith Artmann will draw on firsthand experiences from the crossroads of public administration, politics and the public.

Leif von Nethen has an academic background in spatial planning and spent part of his career in the private sector as a planner. He was in charge of informal citywide retail development concepts, expert reports on retail development tolerability or urban development concepts, but also of binding zoning planning or urban feasibility studies. He is involved in project Raumwerk D since the beginning, and dealt previously with EU-projects for the City of Düsseldorf. Mr. von Nethen’s views on planning include holistic approaches and corresponding participation methods, while keeping a balance between the preservation of a city’s identity, the creation of high quality urban development and the enhancement of the life quality for the citizens.

Find out how Düsseldorf deals with its sustainable development challenges, who is involved and why early public participation is paramount – join us at the event!

This year, at Cities of Tomorrow #7, we introduce the topic of communities’ engagement as a means towards sustainable development of regions and cities.

We will approach this aspect relying on the motto “global thinking, local action”, and our guests of honor will engage in a dialogue, in order to discuss best practice examples in dealing with big projects and the involvement of all stakeholders.

One of the speakers at Cities of Tomorrow #7 will be Dr. Arnold Voss, urbanist and owner of the Office for the Art of Planning in Berlin. Arnold Voss studied town & country planning and education in Dortmund and Berlin. Having done research and teaching work at the Technical University of Berlin, the Technical University of Aachen and Columbia University New York City in the fields of urban planning, urban development and architecture, he is familiarized with practices in Germany, as well as in the USA, where he unwinds a significant part of his activity. He also holds a doctorate degree in political science.

His civic engagement and his vast experience in urbanism and architecture rest on a very pragmatic view on cities, including their development, and the meaning we give places where we live. Throughout his career, Arnold Voss, consultant, designer and independent expert, has offered consultancy to public administration, as well as to citizens’ action groups and private investors.

Alongside Dr. Voss will be Eugen Panescu, renowned architect, who co-founded with his German partners in Cluj the office planwerk that contributed, during the last 17 years, to the rebirth of public space and the transformation of the planning professional practice in Romania.

For 13 years, he guided the Urban Design Studio at the Cluj Architecture Faculty on brownfields transformation. As Executive Board member of the Architects’ Council of Europe and coordinator of the Baukultur thematical area, he follows the European Urban Agenda and the partnerships for culture in the European Heritage Alliance, for the wise re-use and cautious retrofitting of buildings and urban areas. Involving the public administration and the civic action, he promotes the holistic approach of heritage through social and economic equity, linking innovative public governance in planning with civic action. His ideas concern finding responsible positive answers to urban issues in cross-cultural cooperation and social awareness.

We are looking forward to your participation at Cities of Tomorrow #7, to discuss these aspects together with Dr. Arnold Voss and Eugen Panescu, during the session “The right moment to get everyone on board: Communities in trialogue”.

Cities of Tomorrow #7 will also host a pitching event! 9 participants, 3 categories: public administration, civil society and business environment. 1 jury: representatives of central & local authority, architect/planner, NGO, journalist, international expert.

We are looking for urban development projects, best-practice examples and solutions for smart cities in Romania, to be presented as convincingly as possible during a 5-minute-pitch, which will be evaluated by a jury, and the winners of each category will receive prizes that will encourage the further development of their projects.

New dimension to our event

This year, we want to add a new layer to the event concept: the civil society. A dialogue between public authorities and the business environment is important, but the involvement of the civil society is as necessary. Therefore, we believe that the key element in shaping sustainable development is the TRIALOGUE.

Moreover, we will focus on the role of communities in developing a city, a region – a country. The functionality of a community is not only determined by its inside, but more by how it collaborates with other communities. The way we understand to engage as a community, to have a unitary voice and to constantly get involved, defines our future.

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