Üsküdar held a meeting with the so-called Quadruple Helix Stakeholders (that is citizens, people from academia, people from the industry and public authorities) on 26 September 2018. 21 invitees took part in activities that served to complement the online voting on YourPriorities. The dedicated page with all concepts to be ranked had been opened for voting on 10 September and was closed 19 days after, on 29 September 2018. The online voting was advertised through the municipality website in order to reach a wide number of citizens, but was also shared via direct messages with specific target audiences, including students, experts from different municipal departments, local representatives (each Istanbul’s district has several neighbourhoods and each neighbourhood has its own representatives), academics and other members already connected to the project.
You may remember the initial list of ten concepts from this article. At the end of the discussion with the stakeholders, five concepts were shortlisted, namely:
- improving the infrastructure to support walking and cycling in the city
- increasing car parking opportunities, for instance by means of underground garages, to decrease car traffic in the city
- developing a platform for citizens to report problems concerning public transport
- increasing awareness about the mobility challenges faced by people with disability through a race on wheel chairs for authorities and experts
- increasing security in public areas, setting a CCTV system into place.
The online and the offline voting showed a high level of agreement concerning the need for better parking management through the creation of underground parking facilities. Although the ranking itself was slightly different, the results of both voting processes also included the installation of benches along uphill roads to support citizens walking, the organisation of a race to let authorities and experts experience travelling as a person with disability, and the set-up of a greater security system for social and communal spaces in the top five. The fifth concept to be shortlisted was more difficult to select: on the one hand, the feedback on YourPriorities indicated a preference towards establishing an IT team to work on an online portal which serves real time and inclusive information of every kind of public transformation modes. On the other hand, the Quadruple Helix Stakeholders expressed a preference for a system that enabled citizens’ reporting on issues related to public transportation services. Due to considerations of feasibility and impact, priority was given to the latter.
A dedicated team of experts is now busy evaluating the best way forward to prepare the implementation of three of these concepts. If you are as curious as we are to see which ones will be eventually tested and what the outcomes will be, keep coming back to the Citizen Mobility Lab Istanbul page. We will update it regularly!