Redesign of a large parking area in Cloppenburg offers an opportunity for a new form of participation

juin 22, 2022

There is currently a large parking area next to the Buergermeister-Heukamp-Street in the city center of Cloppenburg, which is to be completely redesigned in the future. A mobility center will be built on one part of the area so that the required parking spaces can still be provided. However, the remaining area is supposed to become a park close to the city center, which will enhance the adjacent river, the Soeste, promote biodiversity and offer new habitats for people, animals and plants. But how can such a nature and adventure space actually look like  and how can the existing needs of local actors be taken into account? Since planning for the area was still at the very beginning in January 2022, there was a good opportunity for the TeRRIFICA project to accompany this process with a new participation format.

In cooperation with the city administration of Cloppenburg, the TeRRIFICA project team invited all interested parties to an information event and  to a participation workshop to give them the opportunity to get involved. The workshop was led by the experienced natural garden expert and landscape architect Ulrike Aufderheide, who, with the help of the Dillinger model, creatively collected the wishes and needs of residents, representatives of the city council, city administration employees and other interest groups. The 36 participants were invited to form groups and use natural materials such as branches, leaves, blossoms, stones and clay to answer the question « What would we like to experience on the site in the future? ». This resulted in very different models, that, for example, showed the desire to observe animals, to have different resting possibilities with seats and benches, to experience water and also to make music together. During the last part of the workshop directly on-site, the group discussed which design elements could be used to fulfill the collected wishes and where these elements could find their best places on the area.

On this basis, Ulrike Aufderheide finally prepared a draft plan which is now used by the city administration of Cloppenburg and the city council as the basis for the further process of redesigning the parking area.

Date: June 21, 2022 (online information event) and July 5, 2022 (participation workshop on site)

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