CO-DESIGN AND CO-MODERATION
SOCIAL LAB @ PERSPECTIVE MUNICH
HANS SAUER FOUNDATION
PLANNING DEPARTEMENT OF THE CITY OF MUNICH
FIELD OF WORK
MY TERRIFIC SPACE
A MULTI-DISCIPLINARY PROCESS
Co-design of a social lab to involve residents of the city of Munich in updating the guidelines for urban development.
Co-conception of six workshops for 30 Munich residents in the form of a social lab.
Via the social lab, ideas and inspirations from urban society were directly incorporated into the further development of the guidelines for urban development planning up to the year 2040.
The city of Munich is currently facing major transformation tasks in many areas of urban development. It is critical to master the existing and future challenges and seize the opportunities. That is why the state capital of Munich aims to advance and discuss future ideas together with its citizens, and consequently commit to future urban development goals. As part of the urban development concept, “Munich Perspective's”, reform during 2019 to 2020, the social design lab team of the Hans Sauer Foundation and MTS developed and implemented a new methodological element : the Social Lab process.
Social labs are seen as a very promising approach to solving challenges and future questions that cannot (or can no longer) be solved in conventional structures and organizations. To do this, they use a wealth of methods and tools: to stimulate creativity, to enable dialogues, and to realize collaboration and participation. Technical, social, cultural and other boundaries are - at least temporarily - dissolved. Instead, the focus is on participatory, cross-departmental, and experimental forms of work and design. It was precisely this working method that was tested in the Social Lab process to update the “Munich Persepctive” as a methodical approach to developing ideas for the future. Conceptually, the Social Lab process is under the umbrella of the foundation's Social Design Lab, and transfers its working methods and principles to the field of urban development planning.
Since 1998, “Perspective Munich” has been the municipal framework for the future development of the city of Munich. Since then, the concept has been repeatedly adapted to varying challenges and trends, i.e. updated regularly. With the Social Lab, the social design lab, together with the City of Munich, has implemented a new type of participation format for urban development. In the structured, iterative, and cooperative process, novel forms of collaboration, exchange, and creative idea development were the focus.
The Social Lab process of “Perspective Munich” consisted of a total of five consecutive workshops between October 2019 and March 2020. In these workshops, Munich residents from very different backgrounds came together to deal with major urban development challenges. The approx. 30 participants in this “laboratory” for urban development, were selected according to a structured pattern, based on a quasi-image of a diverse urban society. Coming from impetuses in relation to the results of the Perspective workshops - two large participation workshops in May 2019 - the aim was to develop ideas for a sustainable and liveable city. The focus was mainly on dealing with conflicting interests and interactions, as well as discussing possible solutions.
Paying attention to the principal topics of living, mobility, social cohesion, the environment, and digitization, a large number of ideas were developed. In various dialogues and work phases throughout the workshops, these were then combined, further developed, and specified. The heterogeneous group of Social Lab participants brought diverse perspectives and positions into the discussions. In a collaborative dialogue, the potential consequences of visions for the future were thought through and the interests and needs of various groups of actors were considered. With the help of workshop materials specially developed for the Social Lab and accompanied by the interdisciplinary team of the Hans Sauer Foundation, five large visions of the future, each with a slightly different focus, were created in addition to numerous other “products”. These results met the work of the city administration towards the end of the process. Together with employees of the various departments, the Social Lab participants thought about how the visions of the future could be incorporated into the drafts of the strategic guidelines of “Perspective Munich”.
Cities are places of social and technical innovation and the driving force behind social upheaval. The development and design of urban future is therefore of great importance for society as a whole and requires new, innovative forms of participation and problem-solving. With the Social Lab process incorporated into “Perspective Munich”, an innovative tool for urban development planning, but also for urban governance in general, was developed and tested.
(Text by Hans Sauer Foundation)
THE WHOLE STORY