Case: A different way of working with structure plans
The municipality’s urban planning office would review its strategic structure plan. The previous plans had worked well, but needed to be developed due to new challenges. The municipality was growing, and the plan hade to have a longer time scale and width than before. It had to be inspiring.
The idea was to start with the vision and then break it down into milestones. All sectors of the organization would be involved, so that the plan would be consensual. A project manager was appointed. She visited the different departments of the municipality to investigate what part of their visions that could land in the physical construction, such as the expansion of schools.
PlanB was contacted. A consultant helped to create a project plan and to coach persons involved in the project. Scenario technique, wide workshops and the like were used. PlanB and the municipality designed the workshops together. Ambassadors were created for the project. Participation was important – those who wanted to could speak up. And of course local residents were invited in for consultations.
It was important that both officials and politicians were active the whole way. Politicians – who commissioned the project – needed more consideration than was originally thought, and the project hade to transform eventually.
– Yet it was precisely among politicians that the support was strongest, says the project manager. They benefited from this. They could easily pick out messages that they knew were rooted in reality. One lesson was that we have to involve the management of the city even more.
Three profile areas were extracted, and to make them more specific, workshops and working groups were arranged. Now the strategic structure plan began to take shape.
– More than ninety percent of the completed structure plan comes from the first drafts.
Many perceived the changing approach of the plan as a revolution, and the project team had difficulties with getting through their most daring ideas. A broad establishment keeps the vision alive – while the rough edges are polished. In the process it is important to recall that a shared vision is vital for the creation of a common future.