On 9 July 2021, a stakeholder event was organised to engage with stakeholders for the current progress of the Çankaya Healthy Streets Intervention connected to the Global Future Cities Programme in Turkey, which is being delivered by Arup in partnership with UN-Habitat. The event was held at the Çankaya Metin Oktay Park, which is located in the pilot area of the Intervention.
The event was held in two sessions due to the Covid-19 restrictions and done in the park which favoured open-air and social distancing. Each session started with opening speeches from Çankaya Municipality and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) representatives, as well as the Arup Team giving a brief information about the Intervention. The Çankaya Healthy Streets intervention looks to improve the quality of life of Çankaya residents of all ages and all segments and provide them with equal access to the city’s facilities. It will reduce the levels of pollution; creating more accessible public spaces that provide cleaner and safer interactions between pedestrians and vehicles; designing an increase in availability of socially acceptable public spaces to increase community feeling of ownership and a notable increase in the use of those public spaces by the women, elderly, disabled, and visually impaired citizens including pedestrians and cyclists.
Engaging stakeholders efficiently during COVID-19: enhancing the participatory process
A total of 87 stakeholders from NGOs, universities, local governments, and neighbourhoods shared their contribution during the Q&A sessions. Not only members of the implementation teams were present, but also everyone at the park who wanted to know more about the project and its potential impacts.
The fact that the event was held in a public space also made it possible for anyone who was at the park to walk through the event and find out more, favouring the inclusion of residents of the Çankaya Municipality in the process. In the park, banners and small posters were displayed across the green areas, where people could also walk by and see each step of the intervention deliverables as well as the pilot examples. This was an opportunity to promote more inclusion of different stakeholders during the delivery process, making their participation essential.
This was a fundamental part of the process and key action in terms of stakeholder engagement despite COVID-19 restrictions, by promoting a session in a safe way as well as making sure all relevant stakeholders and actors in the programme could weigh in with thoughts and perceptions.