Dialogues for Change 3.0: Supporting the Implementation of Local Integrated Sustainable Urban Development Projects
Workshop #1: June 05 - 08, 2016
GMF’s Urban and Regional Policy Program launched the third iteration of the Dialogues for Change (D4C) initiative with the first workshop in Leipzig from June 5-8, 2016. With support from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Building, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), through the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs, and Spatial Development (BBSR) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the D4C 3.0 initiative brings together a transatlantic network of cross-sector participants to explore cross-cutting themes critical to the successful implementation of integrated sustainable urban development projects.
Day one of the workshop focused on building a foundation for network engagement and learning. To start the day, GMF led a group discussion that highlighted lessons learned by both GMF and the returning cities (Bottrop, Leipzig, and Baltimore) in previous iterations. Following this discussion, workshop participants utilized a Pecha Kucha presentation format to introduce themselves, their cities, and the integrated urban development projects they are focusing on throughout D4C 3.0. GMF then took the opportunity to highlight some of the common policy and process themes derived from each of the participating cities’ projects, which were then explored and prioritized as a group to inform development of the overall D4C programming.
The second day launched with a federal partner dialogue, underpinning the importance of federal-local level dialogues in place-based strategies. City participants had the opportunity to have a dialogue with a panel of D4C federal program partners including Dr. Oliver Weigel, Head of the Urban Development Division at the BMUB, Salin Geehvarghese, Deputy Assistant Secretary, at the Office of Policy Development & Research of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and André Müller, Research Coordinator and Senior Advisor, at the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR). The panelists offered key insights and examples into wider integrated urban development strategies, successes and challenges.
The policy discussion in the morning was complemented by an afternoon tour of two areas of West Leipzig where such policies frameworks were and are being implemented. The guided tour of Plagwitz and Grünau offered participants concrete examples of the accomplished successes and remaining challenges of integrated urban development in the former shrinking, but now growing city of Leipzig.
Among the core components of the D4C initiative is the establishment of a fruitful transatlantic and cross-sector network, in order to maximize and leverage the opportunities for peer-learning. To do this, Matthew Freeman, a facilitator from TMI Consulting, led the group in a network building exercise as well as a memorable session on mobilizing for implementation, encouraging participants to build strong relationships and forcing them to reflect on their roles within their respective projects and the dynamic circumstances in which these are implemented.
The final day of the workshop focused on having the participants reflect on and develop their personal, team, and cohort-wide goals related to their participation in D4C. City teams were paired up and then engaged in a deeper peer-learning module. The work products and discussions from the successful launch of the workshop in Leipzig will be developed and built upon by GMF between workshops.