In Turin the WeGovNow platform is used for a participatory process whose objective is to collect ideas for co-designing a 500 m2 space in Dora Park in a constructive dialogue with its citizens. The space in question is the so called Vitali area which is to be developed with help of funds available from a national program concerning suburban development. In the future, this area is intended to provide a public space attracting young people in particular, e.g. for daily activities such as doing sports or socialising but also for occasional events such as concerts, festivals, cultural or religious activities where thousands of people may gather together.
Through a publicly accessible co-design process supported by WeGovNow, the City of Torino aims at designing and building the Vitali area, thereby involving local communities, associations and citizens in the design process. This co-design process is fuelled by a public, online consultation process on the platform. Several suggestions on how to make use of the former industrial area have already been uploaded to the platform. The consultation process was also supplemented with a series of offline workshops which took place in October at the Environment Park in Turin. The public workshops initiated by the municipality and coorganised with the WeGovNow partners University of Turin, FGB and Polytechnic University of Turin gave citizens and participating associations the opportunity to discuss additional proposals together with representatives from the public administration. Moderated by the organisers of the workshops, participants were divided into groups working together on proposals and presenting their ideas in a plenary session where the strengths and weaknesses have been discussed. Two key proposals emerged from the offline workshops both reflecting on a central, public space that can create connections between citizens and the various local associations and the community. The first proposal emerged from the necessity of creating a place for encounter and culture, while the second rather reflects the desire to realize a sports hub well-equipped for citizens who want to try out street sports.
The proposals have been fed into the WeGovNow platform for public deliberation WeGovNow supplementing the proposals other citizens not participating in the workshops had already initiated on the platform. Proponents then had the chance to discuss, modify and receive other opinions on their proposals during the “discussion phase”. After that, all proposals were evaluated by the City of Turin in terms of operational and economic feasibility and consistency with the functionality of the park and in voted on by citizens. The co-design process outcome has been disclosed during a public event the 17th of December and has yet to be formalised by the Public Green department in a feasible implementation plan complying with relevant regulation.
With the WeGovNow platform supporting the co-design process of Dora Park, the City of Turin was not able to make use of new, digital approaches to citizen-government collaboration but, more concretely, to improve the coordination of diverse activities and the exchange of information of planned activities and events. Further to this, the WeGovNow platform has also helped to increase the audience interested in the co-design process and to track the discussion on proposals in a transparent way.