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Civic Engagement Principles for Transatlanic Cities: Inspiration from the Dialogues for Change Initiative 2013-2015

March 30, 2016
Dialogues for Change (D4C) 2.0 was a GMF initiative supported by German Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development (the Ministry) and the U.S.

Dialogues for Change (D4C) 2.0 was a GMF initiative supported by German Ministry of Transport, Building, and Urban Development (the Ministry) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). D4C grew out of the joint declaration between the Ministry and HUD to support transatlantic learning on a variety of urban planning and development topics. This transatlantic initiative brought together practitioners and professionals to discuss innovative civic engagement practices from visioning to plan implementation. D4C is specifically designed to engage U.S. and German local leaders in a discussion about how to strengthen their civic engagement approaches and test out new ideas on active planning processes in their communities. The outcomes have contributed positively to the evolution of how each of the participating cities approached civic engagement in their communities. The initiative:

-Built a U.S./German learning network to explore opportunities and challenges around innovative approaches to civic engagement;
-Increased baseline knowledge and policy dimensions of city plans to create a more productive peer learning environment;
-Inspired participants with information, tools, and techniques to improve civic engagement processes and outcomes in their home communities by providing a forum to give and receive expert and peer advice;
-Inspired participants to envision themselves as leaders and start to establish a framework for lasting change by developing an action plan for city recommendations/projects; and
-Identified and widely disseminated program outcomes, as well as best/promising practices from participating cities.

This report provides an overview of the initative, its key components, and ultimately how it delivered on its goal of transatlantic exchange around innovative civic engagement practices.