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!
I was present at this workshop and kind of chaired and gave the feedback plenair, now a bit more of what was said:
(listing would not be complete, sorry)
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.