Cities-4-People aims to get citizens and a broad variety of stakeholders involved: people are the centre of this project! This is why our Hamburg team is very active in participating in external events, such as the Altonale, and in organising entertaining, yet informative sessions, such as the Mobility Slam. After a series of other activities, the Municipality of Hamburg and District Office of Altona and the HafenCity University organised a Lab Night (Mobilitätslabor: Offener Lab Abend #1). The goal of the event was to move from problems to solutions and from intervention ideas to concepts.
The night was held on June, 7th in a popular community centre called HausDrei, a former hospital from the end of the XIX century located in the main intervention area of the cities-4-People project, i.e. Altona Altstadt. In order to maximise the input from participants and manage the scope of the evening, two main subject areas were chosen for discussion:
- cycling infrastructure
- conflicting uses of public space.
In order to foster creativity, the method of the Reverse Brainstorming was used: think of a challenging situation and consider how you could make it even worse. Once you have a list of negative options, you flip them around and turn them into positive solutions for the original challenge. Each idea was then linked to one or more categories of stakeholders who could be considered responsible for implementing it: me, my street/neighbourhood, my school/organisation/company, the district or the city.
Participants then split into groups of 2-3 people and selected one idea to work on in more detail. For each idea, the group tried to identify concepts that would help set it into practice, thinking of concrete action that each stakeholder type could take. A concrete example: “increase the parking space for bikes” as an idea became:
- me: “Ask my landlord to create space for parking the bike in the basement”
- my street: “Start a local petition for more bike parking spaces”
- my school/organisation/company: “Provide enough parking space for bikes for employees and visitors”
- My district: “Include parking slots for bikes in every planning”
- The city: “Create guidelines and provide funding to create more parking space for bikes”.
Our team gathered much food for thought. They’ll munch on it and use the Hackday and additional Lab events to process it and identify possible interventions to be prototyped in Altona. Keep an eye on our Facebook page, we’ll inform you about events. If you are in Hamburg, you should attend: it’s fun and you can make the difference!