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Good practice: Munich as a city for children and families

10. June 2008 – 22:05 by Bengt Feil (TuTech Innovation GmbH)

The online consultation in Munich concerning the role of families for the city is a prime example of engaging the public authorities in direct communication with the citizens. A profound learning process on the side of the individuals working for public institutions could be observed. In the course of the discussion there were many cases of direct and productive communication between citizens and public officials which led to a deeper understanding for the issues and attitudes on both sides.

The purpose of the discourse was to discuss the state of families in the city of Munich, to collect the attitudes and ideas of parents and couples planning to have children about the situations of live for families in the city, to inform the citizens about the ongoing program to make Munich a more attractive city for families. From May 10th to 31st 2006 the DEMOS method and platform developed by TuTech was used to fulfill these tasks. A total number of 36 proposals were developed by the participants and will be integrated into the long term plan for policies on children and families.

In 1.533 contributions the 316 registered participants discussed the topic and exchanged useful tips and additional information. The general atmosphere of the discussion was very open and constructive, so that the team of moderators only had to intervene once.

In the first phase (May 10th to 14th) of the three part discussion the main aspects of the topic were identified by the citizens and discussed in general. Already in this phase many innovative ideas and suggestions were articulated by the participants. After the filtering of the main topics by the team of moderators, the discussion went into more specialized sub forums in the second phase (May 15th to 28th). The wiki-technology was used to carry over the discussion into the 36 concrete results mentioned above. In the last phase the discussion was summarized and additional information was added to the results.

In summary the project fulfilled the given tasks and produced a number of concrete results that are brought into the process of political decision making. Especially the intensive exchange of information and arguments both among citizens and between citizens and public officials was a major advantage for the city of Munich.


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  1. 2 Responses to “Good practice: Munich as a city for children and families”

  2. By Csaba Madarász on Jun 11, 2008

    Hi Bengt,

    Good to read this..

    Who were the moderators? Professional ones?
    Or community developers?
    What types of method did they use? And you, what wiki?

    Whas it as well an online consultational process?
    Where can I see the concrete results? (I am really intersted)..
    And if you could tell me, how was the selection of the 316 citizens…

    Well done!

  3. By Birgit Hohberg on Jun 11, 2008

    Hi Csaba,
    I’m the colleague of Bengt and was personally involved in the online discourse in Munich.
    I’m very glad that you like this project.

    The moderation was done by me and a colleague of mine. The both of us have moderated online discourses several times.
    The discussion itself was done by help of our DEMOS process model (3 phases of brainstorming, deepening and consolidating the debate). You might have heard of it…

    It was a public online consultation process we have performed on behalf of the City of Munich. There was no selection of users in advance, the process was announced via media and by the different stakeholders involved. In the end we had 316 registered users taking part in the discussion and around 7800 visitors on the platform.
    Basing on different contributions in the forums the users and us, the moderators, worked out 36 concrete suggestions in so called wiki documents which could be jointly developed on the Internet by all registered users.
    A specialty here was that different departments of the authority in Munich also participated actively by offering temporary concultation hours on the platform. This was appretiated very much by the citizens.

    Unfortunately we have just a German report about this project. But if you have further questions please do not hesitate to ask them.

    You find the (German) online discussion here:

    Best regards,
    Birgit Hohberg

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