Forums » Station improvements

Top tips on involving people in planning station improvements

    • 24 posts
    October 7, 2015 10:23 AM BST

    We held a workshop on "Involving people in planning station improvements and new stations" at our Citizens' Rail conference. We all agreed that we'd like to post the ideas from the workshop on the Cafe so that they can be shared with a wider audience.

    If you attended, please add your top tips and remarks below. And if you didn't, it would be great to hear from you too - the more ideas the better. Thanks all!

    This post was edited by Mike Parker-Bray at October 7, 2015 10:24 AM BST
    • 1 posts
    October 7, 2015 11:54 AM BST

    I was present at this workshop and kind of chaired and gave the feedback plenair, now a bit more of what was said:

    • involvement of citizens and businesses from the start in planning stations in general is a good thing and worthy (added value to station and community)
    • listen to the citizens they are the users of our stations and trains, at least see them as equal
    • manage expectations, frame the influence in the process and result, say what you do and do what you say
    • involvement can be tensed by requirements by rail industry (which requirements are strict and too much output driven (this is what you can get!))
    • involvement also has to be in line with town planning process or other legal process requirements
    • worthful could be to agree on borders of influence or freedom in space (or safe rail space) at the start
    • the art is to find people, designers or a group of people (working group) that can make a good and qualitative plan within the set of requirements (make a framework of the set of requirements by people, industry, community and find people to create a plan or vision within, which process could be controlled by a commission of investigation/steering)
    • at least start with investigation of all wishes and requirements of all parties involved at the start and look to shared benefits (form a partnership)
    • experiences in Burnley, Aachen and Parkstad were very positive and will be continued

    (listing would not be complete, sorry)

    This post was edited by Paul Alzer at October 7, 2015 11:56 AM BST
    • 1 posts
    October 21, 2015 11:30 AM BST

    I participated in that workshop and would just make three comments.

    You don´t get participation free of charge. Don´t underestimate that you need ressources - especially staff. If you think about a comprehensive participation approch/strategy for a complete project cycle you will have to invest time and money to design, conduct and exploit it. Think also about "simple" aspects like appropriate premises, flip charts, poster ...

    You need participation knowledge. If you are a rail manager you should profoundly reflect why and how you would like to extend participation. Expecially the how-questions cover a range of different skills: community participation techniques eg. charettes / moderation, discussion and presentation skills ... Finally you need to know how to analyze the received information and how to arrive at conclusions.

    Additional benefit: Participation does not only allow you to collect more and better information from the citizens and improve engagement and decision making processes on a facutal level. Furthermore from a sociological point of view it can positively influence the "communication atmosphere". Citizens have the certainty that their ideas and concerns are taken seriously, citizens feel empowered and motivated which will enhance the identification with reginal rail projects.