Project Context & Goal
"Kracht" (power in dutch), or K-R8 (KR-acht in dutch, being the R8 the highway surrounding Kortrijk), is the symbolic name because a lot of governments join forces in this project: the Flemish government's administrations for Traffic and Environment, the cities of Kortrijk, Kuurne, Harelbeke and municipalities of Zwevegem and Wevelgem and the inter-municipal support organisation Leiedal.
With the K-R8 project, they aim to solve the growing traffic bottlenecks around Kortrijk, while providing more oxygen for the area.
Thus the project scope is both the circulation and environmental aspects of the R8 ring around Kortrijk, a serial of complex intersections and especially the exits. K-R8 is a unique project with a strong mindset for future mobility and spatial planning.
The participatory project
We chose together with the project team for an integrated communication and participation strategy, using both traditional communication channels and workshops as well as digital communication and participation in complete synergy.
We launched the project with a press-conference and communication campaign about the traffic monitoring, and invited citizens to contribute through an online survey to provide their experiences, worries and ideas. This exercise was extremely successful and the population of Kortrijk and the other municipalities around it embraced it, engaging with the project.
After the online campaign we deepened the exchange with 4 workshops ('dialogue markets'), building further on the results of the online survey. We looked for deeper behavioural aspect beyond the experiences: what do you need to change from bike to car? Why do you use a bypass instead of the main road? Ideas and points of view were literally put on thematic maps: how to improve current infrastructure, how to change to more sustainable mobility and how to improve the environment in the affected neighbourhoods.
The results were extremely positive. More than 2.700 people participated in the online survey. Citizens from the region - both inhabitants and commuters using the highway - shared their knowledge in the field and their experience and opinions about the traffic and the spatial aspects.
250 visitors attended the 4 dialogue markets and engaged in direct dialogue with the civil servants and the specialists; those exchanges resulted in 540 ideas on the thematic maps.
Visitors who completed the feedback forms were very positive (average score 4.87/5). Reaction from a citizen:
"Very interesting and special for our region. Very well presented this evening. Thank you to the entire organisation of this initiative to enable us o give our opinion."
You can find their video testimony on k-R8.be
The project team got very useful feedback, some low hanging fruit-ideas were immediately processed for execution.