Future Megacities 4: Local Action and Participation


ISBN 978-3-86859-276-4

• Urumqi

Casablanca • Tehran-Karaj •

• Hefei

Hyderabad •

Addis Ababa •

• Ho Chi Minh City

Lima •

Gauteng •




Elke Pahl-Weber, Bernd Kochendörfer, Lukas Born, Carsten Zehner




Local Action and Participation in Urban Development

Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder

Theoretical Departures

Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder

Eight Case Studies








Urban Agriculture in Urban Development: Methods of Awareness-raising and Knowledge

Transfer (Casablanca, Morocco)

Juliane Brandt, Natacha Crozet, Ahmed Chahed

Community Participation for Energy-efficient and Sustainable Housing (Ilitha, South Africa)

Bertine Stelzer, Bernd Heins

Challenges of Interdepartmental Collaboration to Foster Energy Efficiency in Public

Buildings (Gauteng Province, South Africa)

Johannes Rupp, Michael Knoll

A Citizens’ Exhibition as a Communicative-participative Approach in Hashtgerd New Town


Sabine Schröder

Hyderabad—Community Radio for Local Empowerment: Participation and Organisational


Alva Bonaker, Raban Daniel Fuhrmann

Local Action in and on Urban Open Spaces of Hyderabad

Angela Jain, Tobias Kuttler

Lessons Learnt from a Community-based Adaptation Project in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ulrike Schinkel



Addis Ababa—Participatory Development of Carrying Devices for Recyclable Material


Daniela Bleck



Findings and Lessons Learnt

Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder





The Projects of the Programme on Future Megacities in Brief




GAUTENG: Building inspection [Zehner]


GAUTENG: Convincing people to use better stoves can only be successful with local action. [Zehner]

Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder

Local Action and Participation in

Urban Development

Policymakers and planners frequently overlook the significance of bottom-up approaches

that have been initiated by civil society and the contribution of these approaches to urban

development and climate-change adaptation and mitigation. Moreover, they underestimate

the importance of the local level as the level for implementing concrete projects and/or

climate change–related policies. The complexity of the challenges that need to be addressed

in urban environments today requires a multi-level governance approach, which distributes

competences and decision-making powers among different decision-making levels and which

integrates all stakeholders as partners. But local communities and their organisations are not

yet fully recognised as actors who shape their own living environments and who contribute to

urban development as a whole.

This book Local Action and Participation: Approaches and Lessons Learnt from Participatory

Projects and Action Research in Future Megacities highlights the potential of bottom-up,

or grassroots, approaches. It traces participatory projects and local-action initiatives for

climate-change adaptation and mitigation, which have been initiated within the scope of

research projects undertaken in Morocco, South Africa, Ethiopia, India, Iran, and Vietnam.

By bringing together experiences gained in pilot projects and action research, the volume

narrates the stories behind individual activities and co-operative processes, and it frankly

illustrates results and lessons learnt. Finally, it formulates overarching conclusions and recommendations

for future participatory research and development projects.

International co-operation often focuses on implementing new technologies, which have

been developed in the environment of industrialised countries and are then transferred to

the global south in order to improve the situation there. The strategic concepts for technology

transfer, however, mostly underestimate and undervalue the effort needed to embed

new technologies or organisational innovations into the local technological, political, and

socio-economic environment. In order to fill this gap, the contributions of this book look at

local governance structures, specific constellations of local actors, and practices of communication

and co-operation. Within their projects embedded in the research programme Future

Megacities: Energy- and Climate-efficient Structures in Urban Growth Centres, the authors of

this book are working at the interface of theory and practice. Through action research and the

implementation of demonstration projects, they have put into practice theoretical approaches,

and their results enrich the research discourse on participation and local action.

This book mainly addresses researchers and practitioners who deal with bottom-up approaches

to development and planning. It can be regarded as a compilation of the experiences

that we have gained from research projects. This compilation highlights hurdles, obstacles,

and stumbling blocks for participatory and local-action projects; it provides recommendations

on how to avoid or overcome them, and it points out how one can foster favourable conditions.


Fig. 1

Awareness-raising for sustainable lifestyles, Hyderabad [Steinbeis India]

Particularly interesting for those who have limited practical experience with participatory

projects is the fourth thematic field, which discusses the occurrence of unplanned and unforeseen

impacts of participatory interventions and the options for dealing with these impacts.

The fifth thematic field examines the changing role of the external researcher and practitioner

in participatory projects and local-action initiatives that aim at empowering locals to

take responsibility for decision-making and for implementing such initiatives.

The last thematic field summarises the variety of tools and approaches applied and,

based on the different authors’ experiences, offers critical reflections on which methods and

tools best suit which contexts.


Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder

Theoretical Departures

Participation and Local Action

There is a wide range of definitions for the terms participation and local action. Thus, finding

clear designations for these terms—designations relevant to all development contexts and

ones that can be applied in this book—presents a challenge. In fact, the book’s contributions

reflect a variety of conceptualisations and interpretations of participation. Nevertheless, we

can offer here a theoretical framework for these terms, in order to put the book’s contributions

into conversation with each other. In this volume, the distinction between participation and

local action is neither absolute nor strict; on the contrary, both concepts may partially overlap.

However, here, a distinction between the terms will help to highlight qualitative differences.


The term participation can be differentiated into a) public participation, civil society’s participation

or people’s participation as an approach to legitimise political and planning decisions,

b) community participation, which predominantly fosters joint decision-making and information

gathering, or c) stakeholder participation as an effort to integrate relevant stakeholders

from the political, the private, and the civil society sector into decision-making and

to establish unconventional coalitions to initiate change. Regarded from a more academic

perspective, participation can be both a means to strengthen democracy, grassroots democracy

in particular, and an ends, as it may be the output of democratisation processes [Tandon

2008 in Ledwith/Springett 2010].

In contrast to participation, local action evolves from the community level and is thus

demand driven. Local action initiates from the bottom-up and encompasses an entity of

self-help activities and self-organisation, which aim to solve local issues where there is lack

of governmental interest or capacity to act.

Sherry R. Arnstein developed possibly the most famous theoretical conceptualisation of

participation in the late nineteen-sixties (1969) in order to classify citizen participation in the

United States of America and other developed countries. Arnstein’s Ladder of Citizen Participation

distinguishes between real citizen participation (citizen power), which involves the

re-distribution of power from the power-holders to the powerless, and forms of tokenism and

non-participation. Thus, Arnstein’s Ladder describes eight steps of citizen participation in

formal planning and decision-making processes, which are grouped into the three categories

mentioned above [Figure 1 •] [Arnstein 1969].

As a response to Arnstein’s work, Marisa Guaraldo Choguill [1996] educed her own Ladder

of Community Participation for Underdeveloped Countries in the mid-nineteen-nineties,

which takes into account the limited resources and capacities of governments to address

the entirety of local development issues. However, Guaraldo Choguill considered community

participation not “just … a means to enable the people” to satisfy their basic needs in the


CASABLANCA: Local action for peri-urban tourism takes place in this landscape. [Born]

Juliane Brandt, Natacha Crozet, Ahmed Chahed

Urban Agriculture in Urban

Development: Methods of

Awareness-raising and Knowledge

Transfer (Casablanca, Morocco)

Urban Agriculture as an Integrative Factor of Climateoptimised

Urban Development

The Urban Context: Local Conditions

Casablanca, currently the largest and most populated urban region in Morocco, has grown

within a century from a small settlement of 20,000 inhabitants to a metropolis that is

estimated to have 5.1 million residents by 2030. 22% of the national urban population lives in

Casablanca. 60% of industry in Morocco is concentrated in this agglomeration. The city faces

many different challenges—including considerable spatial and population growth, fragmented

spaces, an increasing divide between rich and poor, a lack of adequate housing, inadequate

environmental and living standards, and difficulties maintaining technical infrastructure—as

well as the challenges posed by climate change and limited resources.

In 1907 the city covered a small area of only 50 ha. In 1997 the Greater Casablanca region

was created, comprising 121,412 ha and eight prefectures. Previously rural communities with

agricultural areas have been and are still being urbanised, which consumes valuable open

space. As a result of the current development processes, which are specific to megacities,

urban agriculture (UA) as a spatial dimension can present new hybrid and climate-sensitive

forms of interaction between rural and urban space. An underlying hypothesis of this project

is that such reciprocal urban–rural linkages contain the potential for a qualified coexistence

that can be the basis for forming sustainable, climate-optimised, multi-functional, open

spatial structures, which can serve as productive landscapes that, in turn, make a long-term

contribution to the sustainability of cities and the quality of inhabitants’ lives. It is to be assumed

that UA will only be able to coexist in the long term and in a qualitatively meaningful

manner with other, economically stronger forms of land utilisation when synergies between

urban and agricultural uses arise.

Within a period of eight years (2005–2013) the inter- and trans-disciplinary research

project Urban Agriculture as an Integrative Factor of Climate-Optimised Urban Development,

Casablanca/Morocco (UAC) focused on four different challenges represented by four research


1) To what extent can urban agriculture play a significant role in adaptation to climate-change

consequences, in climate protection, and in energy efficiency, which are

amongst Morocco’s greatest economic and ecological challenges?


Nevertheless, one of the main results of the project and especially of the support of the INDH

is that through this official funding organisation, the authorities now recognise the women’s

activity. While it is still not officially formal, the support of a national organisation is a first

step towards a legalisation of their selling activity.

Participatory Approach and Methods to Implement Urban

Agriculture Practices in an Informal Settlement

Initial Situation

Poverty drives many people to leave the countryside and migrate to Casablanca, whereas it

drives others to leave Casablanca because they cannot bear the rising costs in the quickly

growing city. Looking for affordable housing, most of the migrants settle down in informal

settlements close to the city, like Ouled Ahmed. This village, with 2300 inhabitants and

traditional infrastructure—for example, a hammam (public bath) and mosque—was identified

as an appropriate location for the pilot project Urban Agriculture and Informal Settlement (UA

+ Informal Settlement).

The majority of the inhabitants are illiterate. Furthermore, many young people stop

attending school early without graduating. Instead, they set out in search of jobs in Casablanca.

The existing social networks are based on kinship, friendship, and peer groups. The lack

of governmental support, interventions, and activities creates a need for dwellers to care for

themselves in order to solve the most pressing problems. Thus, they initiate associations in

order to improve the village’s infrastructure. Despite their efforts, many deficiencies remain.

For example, an adequate sewage infrastructure is needed, especially to avoid flooding of

streets, dwellings, and public institutions like the primary school; flooding risks are not only

caused by heavy rainfall but also by insufficient draining of the hammam’s wastewater.

Waste disposal is not available. Additionally, theft, vandalism, and a lack of appropriate

farmland hinder urban gardening activities.

Objectives of the Activities

Within a pilot project on urban agriculture integrated into informal settlements (UA +

Informal Settlement), the goal was to explore, demonstrate, and apply small-scale urban

agriculture, including affordable access to water to irrigate green spaces. Furthermore, it was

intended to find out whether such activities could contribute to improving the livelihood of

the dwellers.

Methods to Implement Urban Agriculture Practice in Informal Settlements

To create a participative process, it was important to start with integrating the training of

locals to disseminate knowledge into the development and implementation of activities

and not to start with a fixed set of urban agricultural measures. The Moroccan and German

Project partners considered the bottom-up approach with participative action to be both

appropriate and necessary for acting under such informal conditions. What is needed is the

awareness and enthusiasm of local actors who involve themselves in small-scale urban agri-


Fig. 5

Fig. 6

(left) Fermented chili: New processed products of the association (pilot project 3) [UAC Project]

(right) School garden (pilot project 2) [UAC Project]

culture in the settlement. The intention was to make inhabitants aware, to involve them, and

to awake their creativity in order to invent suitable forms of micro-gardening and to empower

them to initiate processes even after the end of the project.

After an intense process of consultation with the Moroccan colleagues, the informal

settlement of Ouled Ahmed was deemed advantageous to serve the pilot project goals. The

inhabitants of this settlement had already formed a network of associations to successfully

realise “public” tasks, such as the construction of a road or the support for the school

building. Moreover, our Moroccan partners had personal contacts to local stakeholders. In the

beginning a pilot project committee was formed. German and Moroccan researchers came

together to initiate and assist the implementation process. Several meetings with members

of the associations and the schoolteachers led to the idea of a school garden where pupils can

be trained in urban gardening and take this knowledge into their households; in this sense

they act as multipliers of knowledge in their families and neighbourhoods. The meetings were

organised by the Moroccan partners in co-operation with the Union of Associations in Ouled

Ahmed and took place in the recently built primary school. Thus, it was possible to meet

many stakeholders, members of the associations, the school staff, and interested inhabitants.

This approach—a basic local action—generated many further steps.

The idea of the school garden was supported by all local actors. The garden itself was

planned and installed under the guidance of a teacher who recognised the necessity of such

an action to improve the learning conditions for the children [Figure 6 •]. Further, the president

of the Union of Associations of Ouled Ahmed proposed involving the local women, who rarely

leave the village, in the pilot project. He provided a plot of land near the school to create the

solidarity farm, where women can be trained in urban agriculture and use the acquired knowledge

to improve their livelihood. The training was organised by the local NGO THM, which organises

the pilot project UA + Healthy Food Production in the UAC project and is experienced

in working with illiterate people [Figure 7 •].

Furthermore the local actors asked the pilot project committee for a solution to stop

the permanent flooding in the school garden and the nearby solidarity farm. A constructed

wetland was proposed as low-cost technology for treating the hammam’s wastewater for

irrigation purposes; it would serve as a practical demonstration, which could be further adopted

and disseminated. The constructed wetland was installed and is maintained by the local

actors with the supervision of German and Austrian experts, who met the hammam’s owner,


GAUTENG: Proper housing is one of the big challenges in many parts of Gauteng. [Zehner]

Bertine Stelzer, Bernd Heins

Community Participation for Energyefficient

and Sustainable Housing

(Ilitha, South Africa)


Since the apartheid regime’s collapse in 1994, low-cost housing in South Africa has remained

one of the most important topics on the political agenda of the African National Congress

(ANC). Rapid economic progress and the abolishment of migration control have resulted in

steady population growth in urban centres like Johannesburg [Guy et alii 2013]. Fuelled by the

promise of employment and a better life, poor and rural populations within South Africa, as

well as workers from neighbouring countries, are moving into South African cities. In order

to meet the increasing demand for affordable housing for the poor, in 1994 the government

introduced an ambitious housing programme, aimed at providing free and appropriate shelter

for those who cannot afford to buy a house [ANC 1994].

While this Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) delivered many buildings,

many of them lacked basic standards of quality, leading to the rapid decay of new housing

structures. Although South Africa has introduced a series of quality and energy-efficiency

building standards, only recently have these standards become mandatory for RDP housing

developments 1 . However, the large-scale standardised housing approach and the financial

constraints of government funds have created a low-cost housing industry, in which the

market is dominated by the mass implementation of mostly unified, inflexible, low-quality,

low-cost houses with only minimum features for infrastructure and sanitation.

Fig. 1

Informal housing in Alexandra, Johannesburg 2012 [Stelzer]


2009]. At the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Johannesburg, we gained

insight into the thermal characteristics of different materials commonly used for low-cost

housing construction, including brick, adobes, fired brick, and cement blocks. Also, we could

examine roof tests, different types of wall insulation, and construction techniques with the

aim of studying their impact on insulation and energy performance. During meetings with

construction specialists and researchers at the University of Johannesburg, we discussed

different locally available and recyclable building materials that could contribute to alternative

low-cost building construction. Based on what we learned, INEP developed an initial

SLH-Technical Concept [INEP 2012]. The technical concept compares and assesses locally available

material options and their thermal characteristics to internationally available technologies

with the objective of highlighting differences and material potentials. Another field visit

in 2009 aimed at exploring different urban and rural project sites of standard low-cost settlements

throughout provinces in South Africa. Among these examples was an energy-efficient,

low-cost settlement project located in the township of Atlantis, close to Cape Town [Ndzana

2009]. Work sessions with the South African EnerKey project partner PEER Africa, a local

organisation that conducts sustainable housing projects, confirmed our emphasis on an integrated

housing approach, which not only accounts for the basic necessities for a decent living

(shelter, water, electricity), but which also incorporates a social dimension. They identified

acceptability, accessibility, education, and financing as the most crucial social components for

sustainable low-cost housing in South Africa. Further, four model houses at the University of

Witwatersand were visited, which demonstrated the impact of passive solar energy and other

sustainable development interventions including waterless toilets, solar water heating, and

energy-efficient lighting [Ndzana 2009].

Moderated Brainstorming Session

In May 2009, preliminary brainstorming sessions were held in East London, Ilitha, and

Stutterheim in order to develop a framework and topics for a local workshop in Ilitha [Hoffmann-Dally

2009]. Participants in the brainstorming sessions included the project coordinator

in Ilitha, other representatives from the church communities in Ilitha and Stutterheim, social

workers and representatives from NGOs and civil organisations, as well as researchers from

the universities of Cape Town and Stellenbosch. During the brainstorming session, the group

emphasised the need to address the issue of housing and HIV/AIDS in the workshop. In order

to learn more about the needs of people affected by the disease and their housing situation,

a survey about HIV/AIDS perceptions in the community of Ilitha was prepared. The survey

aimed at obtaining the views and feelings of the general public towards the following topics:

· How they define their level of HIV/AIDS awareness

· How ready they are to speak about HIV/AIDS

· How they feel about the establishment of an energy-efficient house that would address

HIV/AIDS issues

Youth representatives of the church community in Ilitha conducted the survey from 19–28

July 2009. In total, thirty-eight people participated in the survey, with balanced male and

female representation and within an age range of nineteen to sixty-nine. A majority of participants

acknowledged HIV/AIDS as a problem in Ilitha, expressed interest in supporting the

church to help people with HIV/AIDS, and answered affirmatively to the question of whether

they would like the quality of life in Ilitha to be improved [Hoffmann-Dally 2009].


Tab. 1

Scorecard for sustainable low-cost housing: Ilitha community workshop, July 2009 [INEP 2010]

Energy supply/consumption

Water management/sanitation

Materials/resource management


Solid-waste management

Construction and maintenance

Environmental management

Poverty education and social well-being, HIV/AIDS prevention

• • • • •

• • • •

• • • •

• •


At the end of July 2009, a multi-day workshop was organised in East London by INEP in

collaboration with the Ilitha project coordinator with the purpose of developing and planning

the housing project. The workshop was held under the title Ideas and Strategies for a

Better Livelihood in Ilitha. The first workshop was centred on an intensive brainstorming

exercise with fifteen church members and local residents present at the workshop. The

brainstorming session’s questions focused on housing challenges and aspirations of the

community with respect to quality, affordability, construction, energy, and health. Next,

the workshop aimed at discussing the HIV/AIDS situation in Ilitha. Ideas were brainstormed

concerning how a sustainable housing project can address HIV/AIDS and other

diseases and health problems. During the course of the workshop INEP developed a simple

scorecard that listed the key concerns and ideas identified by residents in Ilitha. These

included energy access, water access, and a lack of infrastructure and social development

opportunities. The scorecard allowed the participants of the workshop to vote on the

most important issues that they wanted to address within the housing project. A stable

renewable energy supply, as well as material and resource options, was chosen as the

most important.

In an open dialogue during the workshop with South African housing researchers,

participants could raise questions and suggest answers about how the scorecard priorities

can be achieved. This included discussions on possible construction materials and

other concepts introduced in the initial SLH-Code. The open dialogue session helped the

participants to link their scorecard priorities to the material and construction options for

the model-house development in Ilitha. The dialogue process supported the idea of using

high-insulating materials to reduce energy demand for heating and cooling. Also, the

community embraced the use of renewable energy sources for electricity generation, in

order to keep operation costs for the house low. Community members further pointed

out that the look and shape of the model house should be similar to other residential

houses in the community in order to find acceptance among other community members.

At the end of the workshop, an agreement was made between the Ilitha church

community and INEP to construct a residential stand-alone model house based on a

sandwich-panel construction.


Initially, these activities created a sense of ownership and empowerment in the community

members involved in the construction. After three days the house was built and could be

opened to the public with a community celebration.

“And the way … the house is constructed, it’s unbelievable. I mean, it is a 62-m² house.

That was an eye opener to all of us. I would have never thought this could be done and to end

up with a product that is so nice.” 7

The model house introduces basic energy-efficient features, such as an improved wall and

roof insulation through the sandwich panels, as well as a rooftop overlap that provides shade

to windows during sunny hours. One side of the house with a large window front faces north,

which allows for a lot of daylight but little heating during intensive sun hours. The inside

structure of the house can be changed with the help of modular wall elements. This allows

community members to set up different room structures and facilitate various uses of the

house, for example, for workshops, childcare activities, or community meetings. An additional

room was integrated for either added sanitary installations or as an equipment room. Further,

the house structure supports the installation of a future rooftop solar-energy system,

which could supply a kitchen and multi-media technology with electricity for workshops and

education sessions.

“I would say we got more value than we thought. I mean the value that you will see

in the house, it is nice, it is beautiful, it is warm. You cannot default that this is a quality

standard house.” 7

After its construction, residents in Ilitha were invited to visit the community house during

different times of the day to experience the building and its inside climate. While there were

mixed reactions to the building envelope and look of the house, most visitors reported their

surprise at how “nice and cool” the house was inside. In a later interview with the project

coordinator in Ilitha, he described his own impression of the house and stated:

“I cannot believe how normal this house is and how well it corresponds to the needs of the

people. For example, the heating of the house is much more advanced than the local structure.

The only challenge is that the people here are not used to this infrastructure.” 7

Ever since its construction, the population in Ilitha have been highly accepting of the new

community house. The community’s constant usage and maintenance of the house reflects

this acceptance. The church community uses the space to take care of children during church

services. Also, the community offered its first sanitary health and HIV/AIDS education training

at the community house during 2010.

Ilitha is making a constant effort to convince visitors and politicians of the value of the

house. In order to further promote alternative building approaches for low-cost, low-energy

housing, the community often opens the house to the local government, NGOs, and businesses

for inspection and field trips. Most recently, the community has invested in the installation

of a kitchen in order to be able to host longer workshops and meetings at the house. In

2013 INEP supported the installation of a home solar-power system.


Fig. 6 (left) Ilitha church members and the new photovoltaic system on the community house [INEP 2013]

Fig. 7 (right) Women taking care of children at the community house during church service [INEP 2010]

Conclusion and Recommendations

Challenges and Opportunities of the Community Participation Approach in Ilitha

The concept of participatory design in the project process kept the overall level of community

involvement in Ilitha high. The local population’s ideas and priorities directly impacted the

planning and construction of the sustainable model house for the community. With reference

to Choguill’s [1996] ladder of community involvement, measures and methods used for community

engagement in Ilitha provided a basis for conciliation, consultation, and finally also

empowerment of the community. Empowerment was reflected most strongly in the wish for

and eventually the implementation of a community house instead of a residential housing

unit. The partnership approach, which divided responsibilities and tasks during implementation,

resulted in a strong sense of responsibility and ownership in the community towards the

house during and after its construction. The regular use of the house and feedback from the

church community proves the local population’s acceptance and trust concerning the house’s

quality, energy performance, and functionality.

The high level of participatory decision-making power also challenged the project’s timeframe

and available resources. The decision of the Ilitha community to change the building

permission application to a community house after agreed deadlines for decision-making

was the most impactful example of their decision-making power. Therefore, timely communication

between project partners was the most challenging part of community participation

within the whole project. While communication and the exchange of ideas between the

German and South African project partners were generally strong during face-to-face meetings,

it was difficult to maintain the intensity of exchange during periods when there were no

opportunities for face-to face meetings. Reasons for the slowdown of communication could

have been rooted in the fluctuating accessibility of local representatives via email and other

communication tools.

While the representative from Ilitha is a well-known, established church-community member

and strongly facilitated the church community’s interest, engagement, and trust in the

project, he simultaneously represented several organisations and his church community within

the Eastern Cape region. The multitude of his responsibilities often collided with the pressing


Fig. 2

Final energy consumption by sector in Gauteng 2007 [Tomaschek et alii]

workshop agendas during the project period because these buildings are in the government’s

immediate sphere of influence. In addition, the energy performance of public buildings, such

as office buildings, is a first indicator of whether a government takes its own goals seriously.

Here, the spectrum of possible interventions includes complex, cost-intensive investments in

the building envelope, as well as training or low-cost behaviour-influencing measures.

For decades Gauteng’s government neglected to improve the energy performance of its

building stock. There were two core reasons: South African energy prices have been and still

are low compared to international markets, and the maintenance of public buildings has not

been identified as a high political priority. However, since energy prices have increased and

maintenance has not been improved, the government’s total expenditure for energy has

increased significantly. At the same time, the lack of maintenance in many public buildings

has led to a poor-quality working environment. In some cases, employees have to shiver in

winter and sweat in summer due to broken heating systems, ineffective electric heaters,

or non-functioning air-conditioning systems. Also, in many buildings only a few central

light-switches exist, which causes lights to remain on all day.

Finally, awareness for this situation was raised among governmental officials. The retro -

fitting of public buildings and the sensitising of staff to energy issues are now concerns. However,

if Gauteng Province wants to claim strategic leadership in energy and climate-change

issues, then it needs more than rhetoric. Energy-efficiency interventions in public buildings

is a starting point, although the government’s share in the Gauteng Province’s total energy

consumption is 1%, which is almost negligible compared to energy-intensive users [Figure 2 •].

Energy efficiency and energy saving in public buildings symbolise good governance and have

to be seen as a valuable example.

Provincial targets for the public sector defined in the Gauteng Integrated Energy Strategy

include an energy-efficiency improvement in the electricity supply of 13% by 2014 and 25%

by 2025. These targets can be partially easily achieved by advocating low-cost and no-cost

technical and behavioural changes. Changing behaviour is quite simple: mobilise employees

to switch off lights when not needed, open curtains to use natural light when ever possible,

and leave doors open when rooms are overheated instead of turning on the air conditioning,

for example. Furthermore, some cost-effective technical interventions that are easy to

implement include replacing light bulbs and inefficient ballasts, 7 improving the placement

of switches, and using bright colours for walls and ceilings. Beyond these low-hanging fruits,

further technical potential can be difficult to implement; this includes measures such as the

installation of control systems; the introduction of alternative heating and hot water sys-


tems, energy-efficient ventilation, and air-conditioning systems; and improvements of the

building envelope through thermal insulation. The latter needs a higher financial investment

and also stronger coordination and co-operation among relevant stakeholders within the

provincial government. 8

The case study below, carried out within the EnerKey project by IER, 9 shows the energy-and

cost-saving potential of one of the highest energy consumers within Gauteng’s public

building stock, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto, Johannesburg [Box A •].

Best-practise Example Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital is the world’s largest hospital. It has approximately

3,200 beds and 6,760 staff members. It functions as an academic hospital, attached

to the University of the Witwatersrand. 10 As a result of the hospital’s size, it is a large

consumer of energy with a complex energy-supply structure.

Preliminary results assume an annual final energy consumption of approximately 456

TJ or roughly 10% of the final energy consumed in public buildings in Gauteng Province.

Process heat and lighting are the most important applications, using two thirds of the

final energy consumed by the hospital [Figure 3 •]. Coal is a key energy carrier to generate

steam and electricity, which results in high greenhouse gas emissions [Eskom 2011]. In

order to improve energy performance and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, well-founded

energy planning is necessary. A retrofit of the lighting system, which would include

replacing the existing 25-watt fluorescent lights with LEDs in corridors, could reduce the

final energy consumption by 19 TJ. This would result in an annual saving of 0.6 million

Rand. Also it could be feasible to undertake a lighting retrofit in offices and patient

rooms and save an additional of 37 TJ. However, this measure would not be economically

viable due to less daily hours of light-use.

These results are based on an initial study, which gathered data for the development

of a comprehensive assessment tool based on the TIMES model. 11 By applying this

model, it is possible to determine robust, least-cost measures with the aim of reducing

the final energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and dependency on imported

energy for the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Fig. 3

Final energy consumption by end-use in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital [Taiwo]


Sabine Schröder

A Citizens’ Exhibition as a


Approach in Hashtgerd New Town



This paper discusses the communicative-aesthetic method of a citizens’ exhibition and

its adaptation to the Iranian context; this project was carried out in the framework of the

German-Iranian research project Young Cities. The research project Young Cities—Developing

Energy-efficient Urban Fabric in the Tehran-Karaj Region focused on developing and applying

energy-efficient planning and management concepts, as well as developing solutions for

building and infrastructure. The project’s main aim was to reduce CO 2

emissions, but also

to conserve natural resources like water and soil. Furthermore, the project sought to find

planning and building solutions and methodologies to adapt to climate change. The project’s

main locational emphasis was the new town of Hashtgerd as a case study, which lies in the

growth corridor to the west of the emerging megacity of Tehran.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has experienced a massive population growth during the last

few decades. Its population almost doubled from 33.7 million in 1976 to 60 million in 1996. Since

then the population has grown to more than 75 million in 2011. This development occurred

alongside a rapid urbanisation process, which follows the global trend of urbanisation. In 2011,

71.4% of Iran’s population lived in urban areas [Statistical Center of Iran 2011]. Throughout this

period the megacity of Tehran experienced drastic growth and has grown in all directions along

traffic arteries [Madanipour 2005]. Like many other countries all over the world, Iran counteracted

this development with the strategy of building so-called new towns on the periphery of urban

agglomerations to relieve the rapid urban growth. The goal of establishing new towns was to

create better and healthier living environments than bursting megacities, while simultaneously

counteracting their uncontrollable growth [Madanipour 2005]. However, this approach has not only

had positive results. Negative consequences include the loss of green, natural areas, intensified

social segregation, and a slow development in many new towns towards the status of a multi-functional,

independent city. In many cases, the new cities initially lack necessary infrastructure

and sufficient public transportation, as well as jobs [Ghalehnoee /Diab 2005].

Hashtgerd New Town is, measured by its geographical size, the largest of the new urban

settlements. The planning of the new town began in 1990 and was intended to relieve the

quickly growing capital of Tehran, as well as the city of Karaj, west of Tehran. It was placed

north of the already existing town of Old Hashtgerd and circa 30 km west of Karaj. Although

the city was initially planned for 500,000 residents, it has only an estimated population of

approximately 20,000 people today. Hashtgerd New Town has not yet met the expectations


Fig. 1

Impressions of Hashtgerd New Town: Shopping street in the first building phase, half-built neighbourhood

in building phase four, construction of Mehr housing, main street [Nasrollahi]

put on it, due to the lack of jobs, shopping facilities, cultural offers, and other infrastructure.

Most of the residents of Hashtgerd New Town do not work within the new town, but

commute to Hashtgerd Old Town, Karaj, or Tehran [Schröder et alii 2013]. The commute to other

cities for work and social, cultural, and shopping purposes causes a considerable consumption

of energy for transportation. This is mainly carried out with private cars due to the lack and

inefficiency of public transport.

As Iran has some of the largest oil and natural gas resources in the world, those are the

country’s main sources of energy, while the renewable energy supply is negligible [Ministry

of Environment 2009]. The extensive fossil resources and increasing energy consumption have

made Iran one of the largest CO 2

emitters in the world with CO 2

emissions rising steadily in

the last few decades, with the exception of the nineteen-eighties due to the Iran-Iraq war

[Marland/Boden/Andres 2012]. Furthermore, the high subsidisation of energy until only a few

years ago led to distorted energy prices and reduced the motivation to save energy.

Therefore, the project focused on the development and application of energy-efficient

planning and management concepts and energy-efficient building and infrastructure solutions

with the aim of reducing CO 2

emissions. Specifically, the project focused on developing

an integrated planning framework and detailed plans for a 35-ha mixed-use residential area

as a pilot project, the Shahre Javan Community, in the south of Hashtgerd New Town; it was

planned for approximately 8,000 inhabitants. The planning framework and the plans integrate

energy-efficient and resource-saving methodologies and utilise a design that minimises

technical complexity and costs and builds on the regional traditional knowledge of ener-


Fig. 4

Fig. 5

(above) Posters of the citizens’ exhibition in Hashtgerd New Town [nexus Institute Berlin]

(below) Opening of the citizens’ exhibition [Quitzow]

of holding focus group discussions, and an NGO partner was found to facilitate the focus group

discussion in Hashtgerd New Town, it was ultimately not possible to obtain the necessary official

permission for the focus group discussions from the responsible superior authority, which

was a prerequisite for conducting them. Therefore, yet another path of conducting discussions

on the plans and concepts of the project for mobility had to be found. It became apparent that

the administrative authorities viewed with less scepticism the idea of discussing the concepts

with experts rather than with citizens of Hashtgerd New Town.


Therefore, qualitative interviews were held with experts in urban and transportation

planning from Tehran and Hashtgerd New Town in fall 2012 in order to obtain feedback on

the mobility concepts of the Young Cities project. The results were evaluated and served as

preparation for an expert workshop, which was held in March 2013. In this Expert Workshop

on Innovative Transportation Planning for Iran’s Urban Agglomerations with Special Focus on

the Results of the German-Iranian Young Cities Project, the planning concepts of the Young

Cities project for Hashtgerd New Town were again discussed with experts from the fields of

urban and transportation planning, from Hashtgerd Municipality, Hashtgerd City Council,

and Tehran Traffic Organization. At this expert workshop, the citizens’ exhibition, which had

been revised and extended since its last display, was also displayed to give the experts an

impression of the viewpoints of the citizens of Hashtgerd New Town as an impetus for their

discussion. Furthermore, at an international conference on transport in Tehran shortly after

the expert workshop, a presentation on participative approaches in transport planning was

held by a nexus Institute researcher. This presentation was received with great interest by

the audience, and the audience perceived that it is especially important to consider cultural

aspects within planning concepts through participative approaches.


The implementation of participative approaches within the Young Cities project had to be

pursued under quite difficult circumstances in an environment that was not favourable to

participative practices. On the one hand, that was due to the lack of participation practices and

traditions in Iran, which caused much scepticism regarding participative approaches. On the

other hand, the implementation of participative approaches was seen as important but not the

main goal within the project itself. Participation was one of many work packages of the project,

and was defined as a supporting dimension to the main dimensions of building and infrastructure

planning. However, especially in contexts that are highly formalised and regularised like the

Iranian one, the support of the partners is especially important for the success of participative

approaches and needs a lot of trust building. While the inhabitants of Hashtgerd New Town

were willing to participate in the interviews, give information, and express their opinion, the

obstacles for implementing participatory approaches were found on the side of administration.

Generally, it must be said that the effects of a citizens’ exhibition and the activation of

stakeholders may normally not directly be determined. It is not to be expected, although possible

in exceptional cases, that individuals or groups will directly be stimulated to start some kind of

visible activity after visiting the citizens’ exhibition; it is also not the method’s main purpose.

Activation is a process and can best be realised by offering many of these and similar activating

events or instruments. However, the citizens’ exhibition offers the opportunity to illustrate for

the public the opinions, attitudes, and knowledge of the involved actors and thus start a process

of dialogue and opinion formation. As mentioned above, the interviews with citizens of Hashtgerd

New Town showed that energy-consumption behaviour and the motivation to save energy

are closely linked to the state of urban infrastructure and buildings. The citizens’ exhibition

promised to be a good opportunity to use inhabitants’ voices to bring into the public’s awareness

this connection and the need for change regarding the living conditions in Hashtgerd New Town.

The local opening of the citizens’ exhibition can at least partly be considered a success in

the sense that—despite the fact that the partners initially did not consider interviews to be


Tarnaka, Tarnaka Consumer Council, Tarnaka Times Committee, Child Labour Committee,

Police-Maithri (Telugu for ‘friendship’) & Security Cell, Watchmen Training, Games & Sports

Cell, Education, Library & Cultural Cell, Legal Cell, Technical Quality Committee of Works in

Tarnaka, Telephone, TV Cable & Internet Cell, Water & Drainage Committee. These are only

a sampling of the multitude of actors, topics, interests, and forums that are, in some way,

orchestrated by SCOTRWA.

Yet what does this organisational structure mean for the chance of building up a community

radio in and for Tarnaka? Are all these actors already the basis—as consumers, producers,

sponsors, and advertisers—of the community radio’s broadcasting programme? Also, is

the organisational setup of SCOTRWA robust enough not only to run and coordinate these

already existing associations and committees but also now another, new and perhaps even

more challenging and laborious project? In order to answer these questions, we must analyse

the character of the organisation, its sustainability after the introduction of the community

radio tool, and the specific case in Tarnaka.

Community Radio as a Communication Tool in India

FM Radio has staged a comeback in India’s households and automobiles. In our context,

the main purpose of setting up a community radio is to enable and empower local communities

to use and run information and communication media that can support social,

economic, and cultural community developments. This participatory grassroots communication

tool empowers local communities to voice their problems and needs; therefore, it

enables them to participate in decision-making processes. The audience becomes part of

the radio programme through their participation in all aspects—management, fundraising,

and programme production.

UNESCO and Louie Tabing define community radio as “operated in the community, for

the community, about the community and by the community” [Tabing 2002, 9]. Up until now,

community radio has been a rather rural phenomenon. After the pirate radio movement in

Europe in the nineteen-sixties, especially in the UK, France, and Italy, the idea of community

radio spread in Africa during the nineties, where it was used for development and empowerment

purposes. The movement’s dispersion in Asia was a bit delayed but has recently gained

strength. With a wide range of goals from community development to communication, from

exchange to the spread of information, a community radio tradition can even be found in

Australia and North America [Pavarala/Malik 2007].

By the end of 2006, after a decade-long struggle of the country’s community-radio

movement, India’s government announced a new community-radio policy [Pavarala/Malik 2007],

which was the motivation for an increasing number of community radio projects that have

been initiated in India.

However, of course a community radio programme is not the answer to all problems as

it—like other tools of social empowerment—has limitations and poses important questions,

such as that of inclusion and exclusion in the citizenry [Bailur 2012]. Nonetheless, the experiences

of other community radio stations in India show that this medium has great potential

for empowering, educating, and entertaining people [Aleaz 2010, Walker 2009, Pavarala 2003].

In the case of a community radio station of Adivasis in central India, the medium seems to

have the intended effect of strengthening the community and giving a voice to marginalised


Fig. 2

Fig. 3

(left) In the SCOTRWA office [N. Fuhrmann]

(right) “Bol Hyderabad”, the community radio at Hyderabad Central University [Bonaker]

people, especially women [Walker 2009]. Similarly, due to programmes of a community radio

station in a village in Jharkhand, community members demonstrate an increased awareness

of diseases, appropriate treatments, and precautions. Villagers even report that they see a

correlation between the programme and an improvement of their well-being, for example,

due to less alcohol consumption [Pavarala 2003].

The Tarnaka Community Radio Initiative

The 2006 statutory change served as a trigger for the Tarnaka initiative, too. The Tarnaka

community radio—for which the licence is still pending—intends to serve the whole public

and all residents as a communication platform for announcing, sharing, and discussing

issues of public interest that focus on environmental awareness and sustainable solutions

to the challenge of climate change in a wider sense. For Tarnaka’s Residents Welfare Associations

(RWAs) the radio will offer a platform for problem-solving through social dialogue,

invitations to meetings, festivities and other events, et cetera. The aim of the community

radio is to build on existing community structures and strengthen, as well as complement,

them through the joint project. The fact that the community members are themselves

responsible for raising funds, purchasing equipment, and creating the programme should

enhance their commitment.

A wide range of groups and their specific issues will be targeted in the programmes. The

main target audiences identified so far are senior citizens, working women and housewives,

children and youth, job seekers and employers, and RWAs. Beyond those defined groups,

the community radio shall serve the whole public and all residents as a communication

platform for announcing, sharing, and discussing issues of public interest that focus on

environmental awareness and sustainable solutions to climate-change challenges in a

broader sense.

The community radio group was formed in an initial workshop in 2010. As required by

the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting’s (MIB’s) guidelines for the application for a

community radio licence, the community was polled with MIB survey questions in the next

step. This survey, which covered 1,000 households, assessed a range of information about the


Fig. 4

Many different kinds of users and uses compete for the little available space [Kuttler]

Local Action: Steps Towards Participatory Planning

The intervention should reactivate and widen the existing debate about how to deal with

the scarcity of space and especially the role of traffic and transportation in Begum Bazaar.

By putting the participants into the position of local experts, the project team sought

to enrich the debate with new perspectives and stimulating solutions. The intervention

should have a mediating and activating character. In other words: the project team wanted

to stay as neutral as possible towards the involved actors and their standpoints. The intervention

process should basically function as a communication platform open to all actors.

However, despite the articulated neutrality towards the actors, we intended to intervene

into the area’s existing structures of power in order to push back the dominant discourse

about traffic and parking in the area. 5 Thus we particularly aimed at involving groups of

actors that formerly had no voice in the discussion. 6

As the public event should focus on the significance and characteristics of street space

and the conflicts and negotiations around it, we wanted the event to take place in the

street itself. This decision was also driven by our desire to design the process to be as open

and inclusive as possible; we considered an event in the street to be more visible and accessible

than it may be in an enclosed function hall. We assumed that, depending on the type

of location (for example, public building or community hall), a certain part of the population

might always feel inhibited or unwelcomed in such a setting. By conducting an event in the

middle of this busy commercial area, we also wanted to point out that the street is always

a sphere of interaction and debate, whether we regard it as “public space” or not.


Based on these early considerations the project team envisioned an intervention in two

phases: First, a communication process with individuals or small groups of actors was organised,

which was then followed by a public event in street space that gathered the perspectives

and summarised the results.

In the first phase of the intervention we intended to learn about all possible perspectives

on the conflicting uses of street spaces through (qualitative) interviews. Therefore we

decided to select the interviewees from occupational groups or groups of activities: Business

owners, street vendors, residents, rickshaw drivers, lorry drivers, waste pickers, and others.

The information we gathered from these actors should provide the input material for the

public event. The conversations and discussions with the actors did not only aim at understanding

the problems and collecting solutions; the communication process should also

create an atmosphere of respect, reliability, and mutual trust between the local actors and

the project team, thereby establishing the necessary ambiance and support for a public event

taking place in the market area.

The second phase should comprise the event itself. Within the scope of this event the

participants who took part in the first phase should get the opportunity to articulate their

concerns to a larger audience. The different and sometimes conflicting perspectives should be

discussed among the participants and other actors from Begum Bazaar, as well as representatives

of the city authorities, NGOs, and CSOs. By bringing together the various stakeholders

and their viewpoints, we wanted to create awareness and a deeper understanding of the fact

that spatial conflicts cannot be solved by simple solutions imposed from above; instead,

the multidimensional character of these conflicts should be recognised. Thus, the aims and

objectives of the event were as follows:

· To raise awareness for perspectives of others and interdependencies between actors

· To create and disseminate knowledge among local actors to support common local claims

towards the city authorities

· To create coherence across social barriers by addressing a topic that does not interfere with

politics of caste and religion

· To foster the freedom of public speech

· To unite people physically from different backgrounds in a situation beyond their daily

working and living relationships

According to the criteria set above, the project team decided to conduct a citizens’ exhibition

as a public event. A citizens’ exhibition presents local people’s views and attitudes in the form

of excerpts from interviews in a public exhibition, accompanied by photographs of the participants

and their living and working environment. The presentation of the excerpts on a poster

allows for condensing the argumentation given by a participant and making it comprehensible

for the visitors. The exhibition can contribute to a stronger identification of the participants

with their own standpoints, while at the same time increases understanding of others’ viewpoints.

The major strength of the approach is the aesthetic and emotional power of pictures in

combination with the relevant quotations [Schophaus/Dienel 2003]. Along with pictures and the

excerpts of the interview, personal attributes such as name, occupation, and place of origin are

stated on the poster. Thus the participant approaches the visitor in a direct and personal way.

On the posters we wanted to represent the perspectives of different actors in Begum Bazaar

on conflicts that are related to the street space. Each poster should represent the viewpoints

of one person [Figure 8 and Figure 9 •]. The communication process and the exhibition

were not intended to be a representative survey that gave a complete picture of every group


Fig. 11

Fig. 12

Fig. 13

Fig. 14

(above left) The audience waits for the guests of honour to arrive [Zimmermann]

(above right) Tobias Kuttler of the project team inaugurates the exhibition [Zimmermann]

(below left) Posters in Telugu and Hindi [Zimmermann]

(below right) Visitors write down their feedback on the exhibition [Zimmermann]

kirana shop (small retail shop) owners association, also present on the dais, did not deny

that this practice is prevalent and causes inconveniences, but emphasised that there are

also many other causes of traffic jams, for example, street vendors, parking vehicles, and the

poor condition of the street pavement. Persons from the audience started to interfere in the

discussion, one climbing the stage and grabbing the microphone. He and others—who turned

out to be shopkeepers from surrounding businesses—accused both who had spoken before as

liars and tricksters.

Although the project team was prepared for discussion, as it was indeed our intention to

activate the discussion, unfortunately it could not be adequately moderated when it turned

emotional. The discussion was first held in English, but then abruptly switched to Telugu and

Hindi when it became heated. Translation was needed first, thus the possibility of moderating

the discussion was lost.

Clarifying talks after the ceremony confirmed what has been indicated in several conversations

during the communication process: that the controversy about the right to use street

space for the respective purposes, which had been ongoing for years, had resulted in deep

animosities between local politicians, business owners, and street vendors. The conflict, of

course, could not be solved during the inauguration and in the two days of exhibition. However,

it was made more transparent to the inhabitants of Begum Bazaar.


Achievements and What We Have Learnt

The communication process and the final event—the exhibition—were perceived positively by

the participants. Some of them adopted a reserved and almost shy conduct at the inauguration

ceremony and were reluctant to climb the platform. Nevertheless, when the guests

of honour handed over the mementos, they expressed their happiness and pride, which they

repeated in personal conversations after the event. After the official opening they proudly

showed their posters to friends and relatives. Concluding from these experiences we consider

the collaboration a good experience and a personal success for every participant.

The guests and visitors expressed their feedback in conversations and also in a book

provided for commentaries. This feedback was very, sometimes overwhelmingly, positive

towards the exhibition and the whole communication process. The emotional discussions

among the guests and with the project team showed how deeply the public is concerned

about the topics that were covered in the exhibition. Several persons expressed their wish to

have such a participation process in their part of the city, and at the same time lamented the

inability or unwillingness of the authorities to take up the initiative by themselves.

Could our goals be achieved by this approach? A review of the methodology reveals that

the instrument of the citizens’ exhibition in combination with an intensive communication

process was effective to achieve most of our goals. With the opening ceremony and the

discussions during the exhibition, the already-existing debate has been reactivated and new

awareness has been created. The communication process and the statements in form of the

posters embraced new actors and perspectives that enriched these discussions. A considerable

number of people visited the exhibition, around 200 in two days. The groups of visitors

were heterogeneous; among them were goods-vehicles drivers, rickshaw drivers, waste

pickers, and employees, many of whom normally have difficulties accessing public events

because of their socioeconomic status and position in the caste hierarchy. Also many interview

partners who did not want their opinions published on posters visited the exhibition. It

shows that the intensive communication process and the efforts in creating an atmosphere

of respect and trust had been necessary and fertile. The decision to conduct the event in open

space and design it “barrier free” was supportive of achieving a heterogeneous mix of visitors.

Thanks to the audio version of the exhibition text on an MP3-player, illiterate individuals and

persons who were impaired in their mobility and thus could not climb the stage were able to

experience the exhibition. However, the majority of bypassing pedestrians on the street did

not seem to feel drawn to the exhibition.

Furthermore, many external guests visited the exhibition, representatives of various

NGOs, civil society organisations, students, and other supporters and concerned citizens.

Staff of the local press was also present and most local Telugu and Hindi newspapers, as well

as one English newspaper, covered the event in the following days.

The project team’s emphasis on neutrality was maintained during the exhibition: whenever

asked for our own opinions, we referred to the statements and proposed solutions given

by the participants on the posters. While interacting with the visitors we encouraged them

to compare their own viewpoints with those presented on the posters, thereby encouraging

them to critically self-reflect.

In conclusion, some important aspects of the goals could not be achieved. During the

communication process we realised that specific groups of actors were difficult to reach by

approaching them on the street, in shops, or offices—for example, labourers of the shops and


Fig. 3

The different levels that affect CBA [Schinkel]

National Programmes on

Climate Change

Adaptation & Mitigation

Integration of




Urban & Rural









Civil Society Organisations

Physical Adaptation &

Resilient Livelihoods

Community Action Plan


Local Adaptive Capacity


Special Target






of Local


Researchers & Experts




Local Government








Policy Framework

areas, the application of small-scale protection and adaptation measures that are immediately

affordable, and the development of warning systems and evacuation plans [Schinkel

et alii 2011]. Moreover, a recovery strategy helps to organise mutual self-help activities that

support the re-establishment of community life after a disaster.

While communities develop their own measures and strategies, their efforts can be significantly

supported and guided by external actors, such as researchers, experts, practitioners,

civil society organisations, and local government agencies. The expertise of these different

actors should be utilized according to the communities’ requirements and the project foci.

Most importantly, as CBA fosters community-led initiatives, external actors have to partner

with communities and the other actors involved: at local level, they act as facilitators who

respect the local community’s self-determination; at the same time they are “change agents”

who engage in advocacy, foster policy dialogue, and support the integration of CBA into formal,

top-down planning procedures.

Researchers and scientists are important partners in CBA initiatives, as they provide

scientific input, such as long-term predictions for future climate trends, which can support

raising awareness among the community and the other actors, and which may influence


the development of adaptation strategies. Experts and practitioners, such as community

architects or builders, may provide technical support and advice during the planning and implementation

phases of physical measures and technical solutions. The engagement of these

kinds of experts will help minimise the risk of mal-adaptation and avoid the development of

resource-erosive response strategies, which prove to be unsustainable in the long term [Reid

et alii 2009, Brooks/Adger 2005, Reid et alii 2010, Ahmad 2010].

Another important group of actors are civil society organisations that directly support and

guide community processes during all stages of CBA. The capacities of civil society organisations

are manifold: they may act as community mobilisers and workshop moderators; they

may support the development of community action plans, their implementation, monitoring,

and evaluation. Civil society organisations may also contribute as mediators between all

involved stakeholders. They may sensitise policymakers to local-level concerns and promote

the incorporation of locally adaptive capacities into policies and large-scale adaptation plans

and projects. Additionally, civil society organisations may “translate” public policy to communities

and clarify their meaning [Iati 2008].

The third group of external actors important for CBA are local government agencies

and planning departments. In CBA projects, they can provide institutional support and

information on planned future developments that may have an impact on the community

and their living environment. Moreover, local government agencies should consider how

to integrate locally adaptive capacity and CBA initiatives into larger-scale development

plans, projects, and policies.

Implementing successful and sustainable CBA activities also depends on an enabling policy

environment that fosters bottom-up approaches to planning and climate-change adaptation.

CBA activities need to be linked to top-down planning procedures and project and policy

development; they require incentives, guidance, and institutional support.

The Importance of Local Action and Participation in the

Context of Vietnam

Historical Roots

In Vietnam, participation and local action as discussed in this book are relatively new approaches,

which have proceeded rather hesitantly during the past two decades. Before Doi

Moi, the politics of renovation, the government of Vietnam regulated nearly every aspect

of people’s lives: “policy makers and the government at all levels were assigned the task of

thinking for the people, thinking in place of the people and acting for the people” [Thai 2001, 2].

People were organised in mass organisations of the Vietnamese Communist Party, which left

little space for individual initiatives. In the course of Doi Moi, when subsidies for social services

were reduced, the Vietnamese people were asked to (financially) contribute to education,

housing construction, and upgrading and to actively participate in development projects, in

participatory research, and resettlement planning [Bolay/Thai 1999, Thai 2001].

Public participation was officially stimulated and regulated by Decree No. 29/1998/

ND–CP concerning “Regulations for Implementing Democracy at the Commune Level” in

1998; that was replaced by Decree No. 79/2003/ND-CP on “The Exercise of Democracy in the

Communes”, the so-called “Grassroots Democracy Decree” in 2003 [Socialist Republic of Vietnam


ADDIS ABABA: Waste collector on a dumpsite [Born]

Daniela Bleck

Addis Ababa—Participatory

Development of Carrying Devices for

Recyclable Material Collectors


Point of Departure

Waste management is one challenge emerging megacities in developing countries and countries

in transition face. Solid waste disposed in streets and streams, as well as in open dumpsites,

causes environmental pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and public health concerns.

Space for final disposal is often limited. Addis Ababa is a fast-growing city and often called

the diplomatic capital of Africa, hosting the African Union, the headquarters of the UN

Economic Commission, and a large number of international organisations. Despite rapid modernisation

with many road and building construction activities, the solid-waste management

system is still insufficient. In addition, unemployment and poverty are increasing problems.

Scope of the IGNIS Project

The research project IGNIS: Income Generation and Climate Protection by Valorising Municipal

Solid Wastes in Emerging Megacities in a Sustainable Way—Exemplarily for the City of Addis

Ababa, Ethiopia was funded by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

within the research programme Research for Sustainable Development of the Megacities of

Tomorrow—Energy- and Climate-Efficient Structures in Urban Growth Centres. The project

was carried out by a bi-national consortium consisting of the Association for the Promotion

of Socially and Environmentally Appropriate Technology (AT Association), the University of

Stuttgart, the Institute for Future Energy Systems (IZES), the Federal Institute for Occupational

Safety and Health (BAuA), ENDA-Ethiopia, Addis Ababa University, and the Addis

Ababa Environmental Protection Authority (Addis Ababa EPA) between June 2008 and May

2013 under coordination of the AT Association.

The IGNIS project strived to develop a new concept for the improved management of municipal

solid waste in order to protect the local environment while generating new workplaces,

increasing general welfare, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Within IGNIS a coherent database on waste quantity and quality, socio-economy, and land

use was established. Solid waste–management pilot projects were introduced and scientifically

analysed. These pilot projects targeted waste collection, composting, biogas production,

soil erosion prevention, charcoal production, and paper recycling. They were supposed to contribute

to sustainable waste management and to generate income opportunities for groups

of youth and women or other people who were interested in starting a business.


Fig. 5

Prototype version 1a (left) and 1b (middle and right) [Bleck]

Second Design Meeting

The second design workshop took place in April 2010. As the korales had not found any material

that they considered appropriate for their backpack, we had to make a suggestion. We

proposed plastic straps formerly used for tying bulk merchandise. The idea was discussed and

decided upon. During the following weeks an informal craftsman produced a first prototype

based on our specifications.

First Field Test

Testing the first prototype [1a in Figure 5 •], we found out that it was difficult to carry when

filled and that it required major modifications. The second version [1b in Figure 5 •] met

expectations and was introduced to a field-testing period wherein all three korales used the

backpack during their daily work, and were followed at a distance by IGNIS team members

who observed the working procedures from a scientific perspective, and also observed the

reaction of the population.

Third Design Meeting

After field-testing, we held a third design workshop to exchange experiences in January 2011.

According to the korales, the backpack could improve their working conditions and they would

consider buying it themselves. They had received various positive, as well as mocking, comments

from the population but expected that people would get accustomed to the sight after

a while. Further adjustments were discussed and implemented in the subsequent weeks.

During the workshop we had had the impression that the korales felt obliged to demonstrate

a positive attitude towards the equipment and to comment according to what they had

considered were our expectations despite our encouragement to express their honest opinion.

Moreover, the korales had shown reluctance to develop their own ideas and had expected us

to present solutions.


Second Field Test: Surprising Results

In February 2011 the korales tested the adjusted backpack in the field. This time we decided to let

a student not involved in the IGNIS project join the korales in hope to get more realistic feedback.

After this testing session the korales indicated that they were reluctant to use the new backpack.

They considered the material too heavy and the handling too different from their habitual

work. Exposure to the scrutiny of the population was obviously a higher concern than expressed

before. When the student asked for suggestions to solve these problems, they repeated their

request for solutions to be found by us, the IGNIS team.

Revision of Pilot Project Strategy

At this point of the proceedings, we had to acknowledge that the korales of the first pilot project

group had been rather reticent during the entire design process. We were still convinced

that the korales had to feel a sense of ownership to adopt the equipment and that this

feeling could only be evoked by active participation in its development. Since the first pilot

project group did not show the required proactive attitude, we revised the project strategy.

In two meetings, we critically discussed potential constraints preventing the korales from

participating. Our questions were as follows:

Was a change really desired? What was the real motivation of the korales to engage in

the project (or not)? Were the physical burdens maybe the least of their pressing problems?

Why were the korales not convinced enough to participate proactively? Was it a question of

mentality, expectations, or our chosen approach?

Taking these thoughts into consideration, we elaborated a new pilot project strategy and

consulted an Ethiopian moderator of participatory processes to obtain an external professional

perspective on our approach. As a result, we decided to increase the size of the pilot

project group, assuming that a higher variety of personalities and a higher korales–IGNIS team

member ratio would give the korales more security and enable them to share their opinions

more openly during the workshops. Potential pilot project group members had to be absolutely

certain about their proactive role in the pilot project. As a means of assembling a new pilot

project group, we decided on an awareness-raising workshop on work-related problems.

With the new pilot project group we followed the same approach as before, a sequence

of design workshops and testing periods [Figure 2 •]. Contrary to the work with the first pilot

project group, the first design workshop was facilitated by an external moderator to start a

brainstorming process that was unbiased by our previous experiences. We, the IGNIS team,

decided to remove ourselves even more from the negotiations. We invested in more design

workshops and a larger number of prototype versions to give the korales the opportunity to

find all design deficits themselves and come up with solutions. Our role was to ask the relevant

questions to guide the process.

Awareness-raising and Group Assembly Workshop

Our main workshop goals were to find out if the korales really felt the need to improve their

occupational health situation or if other work-related problems had higher priorities, to raise

awareness of occupational safety, and to assess and overcome any constraints hindering the

individuals in proactive participation.


CASABLANCA: To convince farmers in Mediouna not to sell their fields for urban extensions is a challenge. [Born]

Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder

Findings and Lessons Learnt

In this chapter, we summarise the findings by returning to the three guiding questions initially

raised. The first general question is: how can participatory approaches and local action contribute

to sustainable development, climate-change adaptation, and its mitigation? The second

more detailed question is related to the individual contributions presented in this book: what

are the success factors, limitations, obstacles, and institutional barriers of the different development

approaches and research activities identified? The third question then asks: what

kinds of tools and approaches are suitable to activate the potential of participation and local

action, to guide and strengthen local initiatives, and to overcome institutional barriers?

Potentials of Participatory Approaches and Local Action

Local Information, Capacities, and Resources: Through their experiences and day-to-day

observations, communities are experts regarding their local environmental conditions, and

they can retrospectively monitor climate and environmental changes over time quite well.

Moreover, communities can provide local information that is not otherwise accessible and give

valuable insight into their local lived reality. These experience-based assessments have the

potential to supplement often lacking data and to enhance the quality of computer-based

research on climate change. Furthermore, communities, even though they might belong to a

low- or even the lowest-income group, have motivation, capacities, and resources available

to improve their own living conditions if they see a realistic chance to do so. As proven by the

pilot projects and research activities presented in this book, local communities have the ability

to make collective decisions as seen in the community consultation process initiated in Gauteng,

to participate in design processes, fostered by the IGNIS project in Addis Ababa, and to

implement community-based adaptation initiatives as proven by the model project in HCMC.

Sustainability in Project Design and Implementation: Local partners, such as administrations,

policymakers, civil society organisations, researchers, and communities are valuable

partners in the design of development projects and research initiatives. Still, all of these local

partners have clear priorities. If a research or development project does not meet these priorities,

but binds their capacities and resources—and time is also a valuable resource—it is likely

to be unwanted, unneeded, and ultimately not sustainable.

But where climate change, as an example, has a strong impact on people’s lives and

livelihoods, adaptation and mitigation can become top priorities. This is especially true if the

connection between the rather abstract issue of climate change in general and its concrete

impacts on their everyday lives at local level is understood by the people or can otherwise

be adequately communicated to them. Still, where poor communities are not (yet) directly

affected by climate-change impacts, other issues, such as income generation and poverty

alleviation, might be of a much higher priority. With regard to mitigation and energy efficiency,

people belonging to middle- and higher-income groups, as well as actors from the


and projects that are going to start. Moreover, launching ceremonies may help to make the voice

of marginalised groups heard and to activate individuals and groups reluctant to participate.

Those events can bring representatives of different stakeholder groups together—for example,

local people, their associations, and the municipal government—and foster awareness-raising,

formal commitment, and the exchange of experiences.

Community Consultation Workshops (Ilitha, Gauteng)

Community consultation workshops were organised within the scope of the EnerKey project

in Ilitha, Gauteng, in order to identify the local community’s priorities regarding the design

and construction of an energy-efficient community house. Community consultation workshops

are viable and useful tools when the rough project design is pre-determined by donors

or researchers. Here, the leeway for the community in decision-making is limited and there is

little flexibility if the community does not react as expected.

Community Radio (Hyderabad)

A community radio is a fabulous tool to exchange information and to mobilise citizens to

show engagement for their own living environment. The example from Hyderabad has shown

that the implementation of such a pilot project is strongly dependent on the approval of

decision-makers. It therefore shows the necessity of thinking through alternative solutions.

In the end, the success is even more dependent on creating a long-term perspective for a

self-managed and self-financed organisation or action group.

CBA—Community-based Adaptation—and Action Planning (HCMC)

CBA is an approach to enable local communities to develop strategies for climate-change

adaptation they can implement themselves based on their own resources and capacities, as

seen in the HCMC model project. While communities are the core actors at local level, the approach

itself requires attention from external actors who facilitate those local processes. The

government should provide support through policies and favourable structures or, in the absence

of political will, at least tolerate CBA activities at community level. Thus, CBA requires

long-term engagement; a short-term pilot project may only act as a trigger for replication

projects and for raising awareness among governments and policymakers.

Training and Skill Enhancement (Casablanca)

For groups who live or work at the edge of society, trainings and other related measures can

help to improve job opportunities, job security, and self-confidence. The Casablanca case

study explained different capacity-building measures, which focused on the thematic fields

of urban agriculture, healthy food production, and peri-urban tourism. The training helped

jobless and un-trained farmers, as well as saleswomen, enhance their skills and their organisational

capacities and improve their own situation through networking activities.




On the following pages all nine participating cities of the research programme on Future Megacities

are presented. They were funded between 2008–2013. Details are collected about the context and

challenges for the projects, their objectives, and approaches. A short overview of the most important

outcomes and solutions is provided. More information on these solutions can be found in the

Products and Tools Data Base at www.future-megacities.org.

• Urumqi

Casablanca • Tehran-Karaj •

• Hefei

Hyderabad •

Addis Ababa •

• Ho Chi Minh City

Lima •

Gauteng •

Featured in this volume:

Adaptation Planning in Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)

Energy and Climate Protection in Gauteng (South Africa)

New Town Development in Tehran-Karaj Region (Iran)

Urban Agriculture in Casablanca (Morocco)

Solid Waste Management in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

Governance for Sustainability in Hyderabad (India)

Featured in other volumes:

Transportation Management in Hefei (China)

Water Management in Lima (Peru)

Resource Efficiency in Urumqi (China)


Daniela Bleck worked as scientific associate at the Federal Institute

for Occupational Safety and Health Germany towards

developing sustainable solutions to increase occupational

safety at waste management workplaces in Addis Ababa,

Ethiopia. Her special interest is to combine environmental

and occupational safety with increased process efficiency.

Alva Bonaker has an M.A. degree in South Asian Area

Studies. She studied in Berlin, Delhi, and London with a

focus on contemporary social developments and challenges.

From 2010 to 2013 she concentrated on the South Indian

metropolis Hyderabad as part of the nexus team within

the BMBF-funded project “Sustainable Hyderbad” and the

FES-funded project “Governance and Participation in the

Telangana Region with Focus on Future Scenarios for Local

Irrigation Management”. Her focus areas included rural-urban

linkages in the region, local resource management, and local

capacity building in the planning process of the community

radio pilot project.

Juliane Brandt works as a scientific assistant at the Department

of Landscape Architecture, Technische Universität

Berlin. She studied geography in Greifs wald with a focus on

urbanization and planning. Since August 2012 she has done

the project management in the research project Urban Agriculture

as an Integrative Factor of Climate-Optimised Urban

Development, Casablanca/Morocco (UAC). The project is part

of the Future Megacities Research Programme funded by the

German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Within

the research project she wrote her diploma thesis, “Urban-rural

linkages in Casablanca”.

Ahmed Amine Chahed is a scientific assistant at the

Centre for Scientific Continuing Education and Co-operation

(ZWEK)/Co-operation and Consulting for Environmental

Questions (kubus) of the University of Technology, Berlin. He

studied energy and process technology at the same university.

Since April 2011, he has worked for the “urban agriculture

Casablanca” project with a focus on the coordination of the

pilot project 3 “urban agriculture and informal settlement”

and decentralized low-cost wastewater treatment systems

for micro-gardening.

Natacha Crozet is a scientific assistant at the Department of

Communication and Extension in the Agricultural Sector of

the Hohenheim University, Stuttgart. She studied agricultural

sciences in Lyon with a specialization in organic farming.

Since November 2009, she has worked for the “urban agriculture

Casablanca” project with a focus on the coordination of

the pilot project 3 “urban agriculture and peri-urban tourism”.

Simultaneously she completed her PhD (defended in December

2013) entitled “Integrating peri-urban small-scale farmers

into urban-rural dynamics and regional planning: A case study

of the Oued el Maleh valley outside of Casablanca”.

Raban Daniel Fuhrmann works since 1997 as researcher

and lecturer, consultant and facilitator in developing new

governance and organizational development techniques and

applying them to improve social and political innovations.

He studied economics, politics, sociology and philosophy at

the Universities of Heidelberg and Konstanz and got his Dr.

rer pol. at the University of Witten/Herdecke on “Prozedurale

Politik”. He researched at the Universities of Leipzig,

Bielefeld and Boston, developing a procedural theory for

tools of governance, organizational development and public

participation. At the TU Berlin he also consulted entrepreneurial


Bernd Heins is the Scientific Director of the International

Institute for Sustainable Energy Management, Policy, Risk

and Social Innovation (INEP). He developed the Sustainable

Life House concept and the SLH-Code. As a board member

of the German Society of the Club of Rome, former director

for environmental protection at the Industrial Union “IG

Chemie-Papier-Keramik” and as associate professor at

University of Oldenburg and University of Clausthal, Bernd

Heins brings into his work a wealth of professional experience

and knowledge on local and international sustainable


Angela Jain studied environmental and urban planning and

attained her PhD in 2004 from Humboldt University, Berlin.

In 2005 she joined the nexus Institute for Co-operation

Management and Interdisciplinary Research as head of Unit

Infrastructure and Society. From 2006 to 2013 she managed

the work package communication and participation strategies

of the international project Climate and Energy in a Complex

Transition Process towards Sustainable Hyderabad, funded

by the German Federal Ministry BMBF. Her areas of expertise

include the following: sustainable city development in

emerging countries, citizens’ participation, climate change

awareness, and local governance.

Email: jain@nexusinstitut.de

Michael Knoll has an education as “Industriekauf mann”

(Industrial Management Assistant) with several years of

experience in industry. Michael studied political science at the

Universities at Frankfurt/Main and Berlin. He was a research

assistant at SOEP (Socio Economic Panel) at the German

Institute for Economic Research (DIW). Since 1989 he is

researcher and co-ordinator of the Energy, Climate Protection,

and Air Pollution Control Unit at IZT – Institute for Futures

Studies and Technology Assessment, Berlin. Michael has ex-


tensive experience in the fields of energy and transformation

processes, as well as technology assessment, futures studies,

and evaluation.

Email: m.knoll@izt.de

Tobias Kuttler holds a degree in geography and european ethnology

(HU Berlin), and is a master’s student in urban and regional

planning (TU Berlin). His focus is on social and cultural

aspects of sustainable urban development and participatory

approaches to urban planning. He has completed study and

research visits to Spain, the United States, India, and Korea.

His master’s thesis elaborates how negotiations about access

to street space in Indian cities can be conceptualized as social

practices of urban commoning. The results shall contribute to

a better understanding of the challenges to governance and

spatial planning in growing megacities of South Asia.

Bertine Stelzer (M.A. Sustainability Economics and Management)

is a research fellow at the Institute for Sustainable

Energy Management, Policy, Risk and Social Innovation

(INEP). Since 2011 she has coordinated the implementation

and adaptation of the African Sustainable Housing Code

within the EnerKey Project for INEP. Bertine has been working

in the field of sustainability and renewable energy for the

last 4 years, focusing in her research on social implications of

renewable energy implementation on a community scale.

Johannes Rupp has worked in the EnerKey project on stakeholder

integration and socio-economic drivers at the Institute

for Futures Studies and Technology Assessment (IZT), Berlin.

Since February 2013 he works at the Institute for Ecological

Economy Research (IOEW) in Berlin. Johannes gained first

working experiences in two environmental consulting companies,

dealing with sustainable local and regional development

and municipal energy management. His research focus

comprises local and regional energy and climate protection

concepts, including acceptance and participation for sustainable

energy and climate-friendly solutions, both on a national

and international level.

Email: johannes.rupp@ioew.de

Ulrike Schinkel is a researcher and lecturer affiliated with

the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg.

Based on her background in architecture and urban

planning, she has developed research interests in incremental

strategy development, bottom-up planning processes,

as well as people-centred development approaches in

socialist and post-socialist countries. Within the Future

Megacities research programme, she was integrated into the

Megacity Research Project TP Ho Chi Minh and responsible

for the field of urban regeneration and community-based


Sabine Schröder is a Dipl.-Geographer from Hum boldt University

of Berlin and is working as a scientific associate at the

nexus Institute for Co-operation Management and Interdisciplinary

Research in Berlin. She is engaged in different

national and international research projects focusing on

participation and participative processes in the fields of urban

development, mobility, sustainability, and climate change

including the moderation and facilitation of participative



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