Casablanca • Tehran-Karaj •
Addis Ababa •
• Ho Chi Minh City
Elke Pahl-Weber, Bernd Kochendörfer, Lukas Born, Carsten Zehner
Local Action and Participation in Urban Development
Ulrike Schinkel, Angela Jain, Sabine Schröder
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
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
Addis Ababa—Participatory Development of Carrying Devices for Recyclable Material
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
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.
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
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  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
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
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
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-
36 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
(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.
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
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].
50 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
Scorecard for sustainable low-cost housing: Ilitha community workshop, July 2009 [INEP 2010]
Construction and maintenance
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
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
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
“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.
54 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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  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
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
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-
66 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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.
Final energy consumption by end-use in the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital [Taiwo]
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
78 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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-
79 TEHRAN-KARAJ REGION
(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.
88 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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
89 TEHRAN-KARAJ REGION
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
96 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
(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
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
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.
118 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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
(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.
126 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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
The different levels that affect CBA [Schinkel]
National Programmes on
Adaptation & Mitigation
Urban & Rural
Civil Society Organisations
Physical Adaptation &
Community Action Plan
Local Adaptive Capacity
Researchers & Experts
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
138 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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
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
139 HO CHI MINH CITY
ADDIS ABABA: Waste collector on a dumpsite [Born]
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.
155 ADDIS ABABA
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.
162 EIGHT CASE STUDIES
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.
163 ADDIS ABABA
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.
Casablanca • Tehran-Karaj •
Addis Ababa •
• Ho Chi Minh City
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
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.
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,
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.
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