How sharing experiences about co-creation touches at the heart of inter-city collaboration. A story from Suzanne Duval…
On April 5, 2022 Susanne the City of Gothenburg and Susanne from Helsingborg City gave a short presentation at a webinar hosted by the Eurocities working groups “Planning Streets for People” and “Barrier-free City for All”. The theme of the event was “What happens when you ask for their participation? Co-creation and co-design for better places and mobility solutions”. At the end of a short overview presentation of the AHA project, the moderator of the session suddenly burst out:
Sorry, I got so emotional I had to turn off my webcam!
“I believe this was the first time in my 25 year professional carrier that I succeeded in touching a heart in the audience. And it wasn’t even live, it was over the internet!”
Arianna Americo, Eurocities Project and Forum Coordinator, explains:
“I think it was part of what Suzanne said regarding “What is a good idea” and “What is a bad idea” when designing mobility solutions. A bad idea being to invent only individual solutions based on being as time-efficient as possible and that prevent people from being social. While a good idea being to develop services that take care of people’s transport needs but at the same time the local values:
the desire to be social and meet people, to be able to have access to a car both to be able to help and to own needs, to create opportunities for physical movement, to develop opportunities to be able to shop, work and live locally
And also when you were explaining how at the beginning, with the industry and the other stakeholders, you were speaking different languages and then throughout the process you manage to align more and more and work together. It’s something that I experience often in my work, that we have preconceptions of what other people think and we keep being stuck in those conceptions until we actually talk to each other. I found it very relatable.”
Suzanne says this has been a first for her, and an experience she will not be quick to forget:
The reaction made me realize to what extent our common work, openness and process is important and fruitful. I will promote quadruple helix collaboration til the end of my days.