Through dissemination activities and involvement of interested representatives of the public, a relationship of trust has been developed in Zagreb between citizens and the local authorities on sustainable urban mobility issues.
Background & Objectives
In Zagreb, discussions on mobility issues were previously mostly limited to professionals without involving the public. However a new scheme, developed within the CIVITAS ELAN project, was designed to change this through the following aims: to raise citizens’ interest and understanding of mobility issues, to encourage them to actively contribute to the improvement of local mobility conditions and to teach them how to best communicate with the authorities. A further aim was to establish a public dialogue on mobility issues and to convince authorities, other mobility actors and planners that involving citizens in the decision making process offers great advantages.
As well as continuous communication with different media, the project utilized various measures for information dissemination to effectively reach the target groups of citizens and stakeholders. The measure with most visibility was an Info-point in an old refurbished tram. To raise citizens’ interest and to motivate them to help find mobility solutions brochures, presentations, videos, e-newsletters, a website and a Facebook fan page were produced. Citizens’ opinion on the quality of public transport services and other mobility issues were collected through several surveys and presented to decision makers. Later in the project, the Zagreb Forum was established and provided a space for the interaction of city representatives and citizens.
A vital part of the communication and dialogue with citizens was a series of public events called: “Wednesdays in the Tram” held at the info point. The event topics ranged from cycling, car-pooling, freight delivery, congestion charging and the planned intermodal passenger terminal to a new train station.
A mobility dialogue in neighbourhoods was challenging as neither city officials nor citizens had experience with such encounters. The outcomes of these were presented to the Mayor in the form of a video and demonstrated the need for more openness in the communication with citizens.
A toolkit on public consultations related to mobility issues was prepared and has been disseminated locally and through the Croatian Association of Towns during a series of workshops on public participation.
The project showed the benefits of continual communication among different stakeholders, the value of consultation when looking for concrete mobility solutions and the necessity for efficient coordination of all mobility actors.
Evaluation of the project showed a very high involvement of citizens:
- 21,630 Info-point visitors and 1,400 participants on more than 30 events
- 60.000 website and 165,00 Facebook hits; 3,170 viewers of films
- Approx.200 media appearances
- More than 150 citizens from nine local committees participated in mobility dialogue
- 143 citizens were trained on communication with City authorities during nine workshops
- More than 2,000 surveys completed on the quality of PT services and other mobility issues.
Read more at web site www.civitaszagreb.hr (will be active till mid 2014).