12-13-14 November 2019

"Gebrookerbos" is a development strategy with a bottom-up approach that has been organized by the municipality of Heerlen to involve citizens in renewing lost urban places, to stimulate ownership and the organizational capacity of citizens and to change the relationship between local authorities and inhabitants.
This new relationship will be the core of this masterclass: how can local authorities deal with citizen initiatives, how to activate civilian forces, how to give more room so that citizens' initiatives are given the opportunity to contribute to the civil Society?

Therefore several expert be present and animate workshops:

Marc Verhijde (NL): has gain a lot of expertise in how municipalities deal with social initiatives when it comes to assessing risks and liability on juridical bases; how to strengthen their vision on civic participation and civic power and translate this into policymaking with adapted procedures and protocols. His workshop, on the second day, will focus on legal issues to show that it is not the legal issues that hinder the involvement and engagement of active citizens and the motivation of decision-makers & public officials, but that it is in the way they approach them.

Joop Hofman (NL): has worked a lot with municipalities in order to provide them the guidance for better cooperation within the neighborhoods, for collaboration with citizens and other forms of co-creation, but also for developing policy and democratic renewal. His workshop will focus on participants' knowledge of citizen participation where the sharing of responsibilities (citizens - public power) related to the dynamics of a community/society and the development of new democratic relations are considered as dominant.

Communa (FR): the notion of commons are tested & implemented by Communa in empty buildings that serve as a breeding ground for the emergence of a transition to a mixed and united city. The deployment of transitional uses will prefigure the final arrangements and Communa explores different participation/dmocratic renewal practices over time. Their workshop will focus on participants' knowledge of citizen participation and exploring participation tools.

Faliliyo (FR):  their work is based on facilitating participatory processes towards sustainable change and concrete actions using collective intelligence tools - restore links in contexts of tensions, conflicts and blockages - accompany and train in the learning of the facilitator posture and the awareness it implies

They will lead the workshops by highlighting the challenges, obstacles and objectives of the participants and their citizen project in order to support a realistic process within the participant's context.

Dr. Rita French (DU): for many years she has been developing and implementing dialogue-oriented procedures for sustainable and inclusive urban district development. She has worked on numerous projects in the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion, where communication at eye level between all participants is central.

Evelyn Wurm, Solingen (DU): Solingen develop its city in a co-design process. They invite the people of the Klingenstadt to have a say in important decisions, even far beyond the legally required framework. They want to involve the citizens actively and transparently in shaping the future of our city.

Klassien Horstman (NL): is Professor of Philosophy and Sociology of Public Health and she studies the dynamics of science, politics and society with respect to very diverse practices. She will explore the tensions between practices of citizenship and cultures of accountability. Democracy requires openness and accountability.  However, in practice  technologies of accountability have become rather bureaucratic. While citizens like to explain why and how they develop new initiatives, the accountability formats for acquiring permission, for getting subsidies,.. decrease the success of citizens initiatives.

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