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REGIONAL CONNECTION PLAN OF THE GEEL and MOL REGION

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CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE

The centres of the city of Geel and municipalities of Mol, Dessel and Retie get too much cut-through traffic. There are several solutions to get the traffic from the centres back to connection roads around the centres, but in previous attempts to decide on new road connections, legal procedures have blocked the implementation.

In order to get this time a broad support from all stakeholders for the proposed solution, the province decided for a comprehensive participation process.

OUR APPROACH

We started the process with a design-session with the project team including the technical staff of the mobility and planning team, the communication team as well as the expert of Arcadis. 

  • Preparation phase - Together we mapped the context, stakeholders and key actors, and designed the participation processes with its’ physical and digital process steps.
  • Key actor workshop - we invited all politicians, advisor groups and key actors of the 4 concerned municipalities into a preparing worksop to reflect over the project and the participation process. This helped to fine-tune the process ad the communication plan.
  • Digital campaign - we invited all citizens to define challenges and opportunities onto the participation web platform, where they could get informed, answer questions, indicate dangerous points and connection issues, provide feedback on the trajectories proposed by the province and also suggest new trajectories. 2220 people participated.
  • 2 Citizen workshops presenting and analyzing the results - we presented all results in 2 ‘info-markets’ with interactive stands and work-tables. 450 Citizens went in direct dialogue with the project team and the technicians of the municipalities; hence we call it a ‘dialogue market’.

RESULTS

Both the digital campaign and the workshops have proved successful. 

  • ● The process obtained support from all stakeholder groups, thus leading to wide participation
  • ● Thanks to involving schools early on in the process, we also obtained over 100 children in the digital campaign.
  • ● In the citizen workshop we discussed sensitive issues like pro and con of the different trajectories.
  • ● The project is still ongoing. In a nex phase, a first selection of trajectories will be discussed with the citizens.

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