On 1 June 2021, Leipzig partners organized an online workshop on the “Adaptation to Covid-19-related Challenges in Citizen Engagement”. In particular, it was about how to better involve certain target groups, if live events cannot take place at all or only to a limited extent due to Covid-19 restrictions. Representatives from the municipalities of the SPARCS cities Espoo, Leipzig, Maia, Kifissia, Kladno, Lviv and Reykjavik as well as technical and scientific institutions active in the implementation of the SPARCS measures were invited.
Under the guidance of the Fraunhofer Institute for International Management and Knowledge Economy IMW and seecon Ingenieure GmbH, the 12 workshop participants from five countries discussed about digitally hard to reach target groups, the related challenges in the context of citizen engagement, and solutions for addressing these target groups more successfully and involving them actively in planning processes. The result of the intensive exchange of experience is first of all a collection of measures and strategies, some of which have already been tested, that are considered promising for the jointly defined target groups.
From this collection, a number of topics will be derived and discussed in more detail in follow-up workshops. The next workshop is planned for autumn 2021, where two or three specific case studies will be presented, analyzed and tested for their transferability to other SPARCS cities. The focus will be on practical, flexible formats supporting the increased involvement of specific target groups in a citizen-centered urban development policy, independent of Covid-19.