January 11th, the design for the redevelopment of the center of ‘s-Gravendeel was presented to the members of the citizens participation board. The purpose of these consultative sessions was to create a design supported by the local residents.
During the first meeting a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats) of the ‘s-Gravendeel center was made based on the input received from the feedback panel. Pinning down colored labels on the ground plan, members could express their ideas concerning the contemporary situation of their beloved village center. Some of the great qualities put forward are the presence of a charming creek, the beautiful church and some pretty iconic trees. Yet, the center is missing a real village heart and a lack of consistency determines the whole area. Furthermore, an excessive infrastructure and tight parking spaces create an unpleasant suburban realm.
Also, some first structure sketches were exposed to the feedback of the citizens participation board, in order to give a chance to anyone of the participation group to express any criticism. These results of this consultative meeting were taken up in the further process.
Next, at the second meeting, two sketch models were presented. On a printed plan members could indicate the elements of the design they liked and those they didn’t. By talking about different topics lively discussions arose. Out of the made comments we gathered very useful information to continue the work.
In the third session of the participation project a design was shown that contained much of the suggested ideas from the participants. In the end, thanks to the earlier participation process, this plan was well received and approved with only some minor remarks.
In short, one can say that these three sessions made it possible to arrive at a design that matches the needs and the wishes of the local residents. Later on, the final proposal will be presented on an evening forum to all inhabitants of ‘s-Gravendeel. A unanimous positive advice of the citizens participation board cowards the municipal council.