Here are my replies for the Unit 2 Task:
1. Which neighbourhood in your city have you chosen to work with in this course, and why?
I have chosen the Utrecht Science Park (USP) neighbourhood because it is one of the fastest growing locations in the city. Further it is a complex new development, where the following are located:
- 100 companies and knowledge centres with 27,000 employees travelling daily to/ from USP
- Utrecht University and Utrecht Medical Centre with approximately 51,000 students travelling daily to/ from USP
- 2,500 students living units
- possible future residential developments
What makes the case study interesting is that constellations of actors that are interested in a good accessibility of the area, but the lack of the traditional "concerned citizen" or "resident" at the moment, since this is not a residential area. On the other hand, the location is experiencing (and situation will worsen) big accessibility issues, due to the heavy home-work, home-study traffic and all transport modes will be under great pressure due to limited capacity.
Since nobody actually lives in the neighbourhood, but a lot of parties have interests here, someinteresting questions are: Who will be responsible for solving mobility issues? Who will have a saying on it? Who should have a saying on it? How should the co-creation process take place?
2. Are there any examples of previous initiatives in your city or chosen neighbourhood that could be classified as some form of co-creation? If so: Which ones?
The Netherlands is world-wide known for its participatory decision-making processes, when it comes to urban planning in general and mobility, in particular. Wide public participation and co-creation is a guiding principle of planning processes here and this approach has become a common practice since the '80s. The Mobility Plan of Utrecht has been developed through a elaborate participatory and co-creative process, involving local, regional and national governmental representatives, citizen
groups, environmental groups, public transport companies, experts and business associations. There were several round-table meetings and also an online communication platform/ forum.
3. Have you heard of any inspirational co-creation processes from elsewhere?
As part of my self training, I have come across many interesting co-creation and participatory process. I particularly liked the process that was part of the elaboration of Bremen SUMP. Further, I can be proudly say that I, personally, have initiated and led several co-creation processes in countries where public participation is anything but a common practice, for example for the Mobility Plan of Bethlehem Conurbation, National Mobility Strategy for Republic of Georgia, etc.
4. Who might be a candidate (organization or individual) for a good “care taker” of a co-creation process in your neighbourhood?
Given the complexity and the challenges in the USP neighbourhood, the contrasting and sometimes contradictory interests, Utrecht Municipality should be the "care taker" of the co-creation process.
5. Who could be valuable members of a Core Group in your neighbourhood?
The members of the Core group can be: Utrecht Municipality, Utrecht Province, The Ministry of Infrastructure and Water, USP Foundation - an organisation representing companies and other actors from USP, student organisations and environmental groups.
6. Do you think your public administration is “culturally” ready for co-creation? Why or why not?
For sure, see also my remarks and explanations above.