Promoting active public participation in local level spatial planning

Jan 21 - 2015

The objective of this project funded by USAID through Partnerships for Development is to empower all community groups, especially women, youth and vulnerable groups, during decision-making process and implementation in local spatial planning aim, covering five pilot municipalities. The aiming is to initiate a meaningful collaboration between citizens and local governments, hence promote the sense of empowerment and ownership over the process.

Project will be implemented in five partner municipalities: Gjakova, Malisheve, Peja, Pristina and Vushtrri. Each municipality has unique spatial planning needs and will be preparing certain spatial planning documents. The anticipated spatial planning activities and needs of the municipalities are listed below:

1. Gjakova Municipality is interested in a development plan to revitalize the historic bazaar “Çarshia e madhe”;

2. Malisheva Municipality is finishing its Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and will soon be drafting its Municipal Zoning Map (MZM);

3. Peja Municipality has completed Detailed Regulatory Plans for urban areas and now will integrate rural areas into their MZM;

4. Prishtina Municipality would like to engage citizens to identify implementation problems of 5 existing Urban Regulatory Plans (URP) in preparation for drafting new development conditions in the new zoning map; and

5. Vushtrri Municipality is updating its MDP and will also soon be drafting its MZM.

Various thematic workshops for Parteš, Rahovec, Peja and Mamuşa municipalities (2008 – 2012)

This project will strive to go beyond minimum requirements of the official Administrative Guidance (AI No. 05/2014) and provide an efficient methodology and innovative techniques to establish a meaningful public collaboration between citizens, government and other non-public stakeholders.

The project tends to reach out to all community groups and non-public stakeholders that are affected by the spatial planning policies and to those that can have an impact on these documents and implementation. The following are the key features that the activity will address: identify all public and non-public stakeholders; organize community groups to address their needs, values and interests; inform and engage all stakeholders about possibilities when and how they can influence the decision-making process for spatial planning, and promote active engagement from the beginning of the planning process.

The project will result with a balanced representation of all community groups and other stakeholders in the process, a clear understanding of emerging needs and issues, a true collaboration effort between the public and government, and incorporation of community values and interests in the spatial planning documents. Ultimately, this will empower citizens during decision-making process in spatial planning and lead to an improved quality of life for all communities.

Purpose and expected results

The proposed grant activity shall have a systematic approach in initiating, organizing and maintaining a meaningful collaboration between citizens and government in spatial planning. Its overall purpose is to set up the necessary community and civil society mechanisms for the process to be sustainable and continue after grant activities are implemented. The activity strives to bring together all stakeholders around the planning table and foster meaningful collaboration.

Public consultation processes in Dragash, Vushtrri, Gjakova and Rahovec municipalities (2013)

Based on the spatial planning components involving five municipalities, the project aims to deliver the following results in each partner municipality:

1. Establishment of the Community Advisory Board

At the end of the activity municipalities shall have Community Advisory Boards set up, all communities actively engaged in the planning process and have a basic understanding of planning process, a local NGO serving as a watchdog, a municipal public participation plan drafted, and needs and issues for all communities properly identified and incorporated in their projects. Depending from municipal projects, communities and relevant stakeholders will end up being actively engaged in the planning process of drafting MZMs, MDPs, public review, identifying problems related to implementation of URPs, and revitalization plan of a historic part of the city.

2. Drafting of the Public Participation Plans & Implementation of Community Outreach Events

The content of Public Participation Plans (PPP) will vary depending on the municipal context and projected spatial planning documents to be drafted. CHwB’s municipal team in cooperation with municipal project manager will draft an outline of the PPP. The outline will be discussed and agreed upon with the Department of Planning and Urbanism, Community Advisory Board members and local NGO.

This task includes also assigned levels of public participation and identifying innovative techniques to efficiently engage communities during the planning process. Three levels of public participation: information, consultation and collaboration shall be assigned to the activities arising from the harmonized PPP and municipal project timeline.

The approved PPP shall be harmonized with project timelines per municipality. CHwB municipal team and municipal project manager will ensure that planned participation activities will not overlap with the municipal project timeline.

3. Drafting of the Guidebook on Participatory Spatial Planning

All the materials deriving from the activities and tasks that will be undertaken in PPP will be used as input to draft the guidebook for public participation. The guidebook will aim to foster meaningful public participation in Kosovo municipalities, and it will include creative and practical techniques to involve public in spatial planning process. It will also help Kosovo municipalities to identify some of the best practices in planning, skills, and behaviors that they can use to design and implement meaningful public participation. Based on the experience and the expertise that the CHwB possesses, the guidebook will be drafted in a way that will serve as a tool to understand, plan, and implement a public participation program.
Overall length of the project is 7 months, starting from 12 January until 14 August 2015.