Perspectives on living in Heist-op-den-Berg
What were the objectives of this case study?
In this case study, the question was how to develop a near-future vision of greenery, recreation, and suburban centers in the context of growing scarcity of open spaces, mobility challenges, and an aging population. The challenge? To do so in collaboration with citizens.
The initial process involved a series of hands-on workshops, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these became impossible to organise. Looking for an alternative that is more accessible than online workshops, the municipality of Heist-op-den-Berg was interested to learn about Citizen Dialog Kit. The push-button interaction of CDK was replaced with foot pedal just in time for this case study.
How were the timing and locations selected?
The CDK devices were deployed at three locations, directly connected to the three themes, i.e., a hiking route (greenery), a public swimming pool (recreation), and the main shopping street (suburban center). Beside the thematic connection, the choice of these locations was based on research suggesting that recreational spaces are ideal for supporting interaction with public displays.
How was the deployment carried out?
The deployment of the CDKs was a collaborative effort between the municipality and the province Antwerp. The CDK team provided editorial and structural guidance during two virtual workshops with the partners. Together, three thematic surveys were created.
The deployment lasted for 24 days. During this time, we gathered over 13.000 responses across 1.214 participation sessions at the three locations. A concurrent online survey only gathered around 60 participations.
What were the insights from the initiative?
Our results revealed surprising insights, such as a positive response to one-way traffic. We also showed a large interest in greenery and even willingness to help maintain a greener public space. The insights were published in YouTube video and in municipality magazine.
More information (Dutch): website of the municipality
The initiative was also reported on by the local TV network: Heist-op-den-Berg bevraagt inwoners met coronaproof zuilen.
This was the second Citizen Dialog Kit deployment during the COVID pandemic and using foot pedals. These were custom designed and fabricated by the CDK team.
Partners trusted the gathered data due to the high volume, and conviction that more and different people had been consulted than ever before. These and other insights were documented in our research paper: The Stakeholder Perspective on Using Public Polling Displays for Civic Engagement.