Citizen Engagement in the Duncker Neighbourhood of Leipzig
SPARCS Leipzig
28 february 2024 | Location: Leipzig
Citizen Engagement Energy

One of SPARCS project objectives is to engage citizens in creating carbon positive communities. A lot of the time citizen engagement is a slow and long-term process of building relationships and becoming known in the community.

Engaging citizens in the Duncker Neighbourhood over the course of SPARCS has been challenging for several reasons. Soon after the beginning of SPARCS, the COVID pandemic prevented us from engaging face to face. We developed a contactless engagement method where we hung posters with questionnaires in stairwells of houses and provided stickers for citizens to respond to the questions that were important to them and the statements they agreed with.

Since then we have been able to implement face to face citizen engagement and have carried out a variety of events such as energy consultations, film screenings for families and summer fairs. These events aim to inform different target groups on the topics of sustainability, energy saving and SPARCs measures in the neighbourhood.

In addition to engaging citizens with these topics, the events also aim to work through existing networks by bringing local partners and charities together to host the events, give the talks or run the film screenings. We have worked together with the Leipziger Wohnungs- und Baugesellschaft (LWB), the Consumer Centre Saxony e.V. as well as with Caritas and the Film Service of Saxony e.V.

In the past two months we ran two events: an energy consultation with Consumer Centre Saxony e.V. and a film screening of “The Lorax” with the Film Service of Saxony. Both events had a low to medium attendance. This can be discouraging but also provides several opportunities: A smaller group of people allows more time for one-to-one conversations about SPARCS and for our energy experts to answer individual questions that citizens have about their apartment’s energy use. Nevertheless, it also provides an opportunity for adapting the engagement approach such as the marketing strategy and the event content to citizens’ needs and interests. Looking ahead, we have another energy consultation/zero waste event and the final summer fair coming up and we will be back to report about citizen engagement in the Duncker neighbourhood soon.

These events represent only a small part of the diverse activities carried out by the SPARCS partners across Europe and Leipzig. Seecon Ingenieure is excited to contribute a small part by organizing events in the Duncker neighbourhood and raising awareness in both adults and children about sustainability.