Society and Contribution to Urban Development
Involvement and Participation
It is of the utmost importance that tenants and residents have a high level of acceptance for all changes made in neighborhoods. This goes without saying when you consider that we help shape people’s immediate living environment. On the one hand, it is important to us that we inform residents about planned measures at an early stage and thus bridge differences. On the other hand, we see participation of local people as a great opportunity to further develop our neighborhoods together and to contribute positively to cohesion.
Participation processes are particularly important when it comes to comprehensive construction and modernization measures. There is a legally prescribed participation process for construction projects, which we consistently adhere to. We also use comprehensive voluntary participation formats, which allow tenants to have their say, and through which they are empowered to exert influence on the design of respective projects, for example on the topics of residential environments and parking lot design. Actively designed participation processes and citizen involvement procedures therefore begin at the planning phase. This helps us to develop collaborative solutions for the respective neighborhood, although it is sometimes several years before the actual construction work begins.
We rely on various formats such as tenant surveys, door-to-door or one-on-one meetings, tenant meetings and workshops, as well as informational events and neighborhood walks. The first point of contact for people in the neighborhood expressing their concerns will continue to be the caretakers and neighborhood managers as well as our leasing offices.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we continued the dialogue in 2020, albeit under adjusted conditions and in a restricted manner. For example, we have been contacting tenants more often by phone, particularly long-term and elderly tenants. Personal appointments also took place following consultation and in strict compliance with hygiene regulations. We have replaced large informational events with neighborhood tours in small groups and video conferences. However, participation thrives when there is a low barrier to entry, which is why digital formats have (so far) reached their limits here.
tenant meetings and
carried out despite the pandemic
Projects in 2020 (examples):
- Dortmund-Westerfilde neighborhood: The residents of the neighborhood were able to participate in designing a park under expert guidance as part of a tenants’ workshop. They created a horticultural area and will continue to maintain it in the future.
- Düsseldorf-Lichtenbroich neighborhood: Around 25% of tenants in this neighborhood took part in a tenant survey on the topics of participation and implementation of measures.
- Hannover-Garbsen neighborhood: A large playground is being created as part of an extensive redesign of the residential environment, which we are implementing in partnership with the city. Here, children from the neighborhood were able to vote on which playground equipment should be built in the designated areas.
- Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg neighborhood: Together with the district office, we conducted a workshop in which tenants were able to contribute their ideas on the topics of traffic, housing and leisure via interactive posters and online formats. The results are to be significantly incorporated into the planning process.