From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

The Nordwärts project is a 10-year structure project. In this project, based on the involvement and commitment of civil society, a development strategy is being devised for the northern districts of the city of Dortmund. Citizens, stakeholders, politics and the city’s administration have joined up to discuss ideas and to cultivate needs-oriented projects which are suitable for developing the local area covered by the Nordwärts project for the good of the whole city. The strengths of the administration and the whole of the city’s civil society are being brought together to give the project area innovative impetus. The project has ensured that many people participate in the main Nordwärts project, and in the development of innovative and transferable sub-projects. Both familiar and new forces within the stakeholder landscape have been brought together and areas of work and topics which had previously not been combined with each other have now been linked up to make use of as many synergies as possible.

The project strengthens how people identify with their own neighbourhoods, develops and re-develops available space to be future-proof and sustainable, safeguards jobs and creates new ones by attracting companies to locate here. The skills and expertise of the scientific institutions, the business community and the local people are integrated in the process and new sustainable multi-level governance structures, which break down ‘silos’, are being put into practice. Citizens and stakeholders are actively informed and included in the idea-finding and project development processes or receive support to develop their own projects.

The methodologically diverse public relations work and strategic marketing attract people’s attention to the project and the processes of project development. Public awareness of the overall project is intensified by bundling activities and by providing centrally organised proactive communication about the results and progress of the process steps.

An Advisory Committee made up of members of civil society accompanies the process, provides administrative support and is a permanent participation platform for civil society. It is thus the superordinate strategic project advisory body. Working on a voluntary basis, it advises the city authorities and the political decision-makers on all the strategic questions regarding the project. The process experience gained during this project enables people to initiate further positive, sustainable developments and to set up new structures in civil society. Long-lasting interdisciplinary cooperation allow more and more networks to emerge, harnessing non-monetary resources and skills for determining and implementing the project. The overall project is managed on the basis of a transparent mix of external and internal management structures, and is carried out on the basis of a jointly developed monitoring and evaluation system so it is performance- oriented, highly innovative and forward looking.

Knowledge transfer between actors is guaranteed and makes the overall process transparent. Coordination processes are speeded up enabling decisions to be made quickly. Instruments and procedures are developed and refined together. The structure, controls and transparency of the project mean it is a model for future-proof, innovative and transferable municipal process management.

Award info
Award category: new solutions to complex challenges - supra-local and local level
Award type: award
Award year: 2017
Project type
Sector: Justice, police, human rights and security
Type of activity:
Short English description: Multi-level-governance, empowerment, social innovation, dismantling silos,

co-creation, co-financing, evaluation and monitoring, budgeting for citizens’ projects, urban development

Further information
Organisation: City of Dortmund
Other applicants:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: 6-10
Country: Germany
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

Nordwärts (51.5113573, 7.465252700000065)
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