Local open dialogue

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A Local Open Dialogue is a specific citizen participation method in urban planning. It helps to integrate different culture, legal and ethics aspects into consideration of urban security in the strategic planning of public spaces.[1].

Support for planning of secure public spaces

Local Open Dialogues can in particular support risk assessment that considers societal security aspects in planning of public spaces. In particular, the method is able to:

  • Support citizen-centred risk communication in order to foster public acceptance of urban planning decisions related to security issues;
  • Support identification of relevant public views and citizens' perception of (in)security and risks;
  • Support assessment of public acceptance of planned measures and security installations;
  • Contribute to comprehensive risk/security assessment.

Process description

Local Open Dialogue processes can comprise a variety of elements, such as the following:

Citizens' exhibition

The so-called citizens' exhibition is a method that uses linguistic and visual mediators (photos and interview excerpts) to create a discussion platform for the citizens affected by the urban planning process. The duration of the method is approximately 1 year. The method is used in medium to long term urban development and spatial planning processes.

Experts' forum

Experts forums or working groups involve representatives of different urban planning teams (management, consulting, architects etc.). The aim of this method is to develop typical project outlines.


Stakeholders from citizens and experts community are asked for opinion/assessment.

Local dialogue

A Local Dialogue is a citizens' assembly with the aim to discuss issues of regional (security) development. By brainstorming, thematic priorities are defined, and appropriate working groups are formed to discuss them.

Round table

A round tables, representatives of organised or non-organised groups affected by the same problem and with different interests come together to discuss their concerns. This method is applied to find common solutions to problems in the field of urban development, urban renewal, sustainable development, etc.

Future workshops

Future workshops are dialogic, creativity activating, open-ended, democratic processes for developing and testing new ideas, projects and solutions. The aim is to develop new projects and solutions.

Footnotes and references

  1. Risk Management at the Frankfurt/Main Airport. Report commissioned by the Regional Dialogue Forum on the Frankfurt Airport. Retrieved from: http://www.forum-flughafen-region.de/fileadmin/files/Archiv/Archiv_RDF_Gutachten/Risikomanagement_Gutachten.pdf