Results of our research in Hamburg-Ottensen: Final presentation

In a joint meeting with representatives of the district office Altona in Hamburg on 7 December 2023, the research group presented the results of the data collection in connection with the freiRaum Ottensen project. FreiRaum Ottensen was one of the five projects in which surveys and interviews were conducted. The focus was on the public consultations in which the general public was able to participate. More information on the project freiRaum Ottensen and the participation formats carried out can be found here.

Selected results

  • The population in Ottensen largely perceives a need for improvement in transport and is relatively positive about the transport transition overall.
  • Around 50% of the population have heard about the participation process for freiRaum Ottensen, and around 16% have taken part. In comparison with other processes, these are relatively high figures, although the usual over-representation of people with high school diploma, men and older people can be seen despite a wide varieties of participation formats offered to different target groups.
  • The discussion during the different participation formats was perceived as constructive and respectful, although conflicts and gaps in the representation of all interests were acknowledged.
  • In this project, the policy process was comparatively open to citizens and participants were able to shape the content of the planning outcome.
  • For around a third of the population and half of the participants, the participation process had an influence on their satisfaction with the district authority. However, this influence was not always positive: for example, one in four participants was more satisfied with the district authority at the end, but just as many reported less satisfaction.
  • Two thirds of the population rated the adopted measures as positive.
  • (Statements on the population generally refer to the subgroup of people with a high school diploma – see detailed information on the representativeness of the surveys)


The detailed presentation is available in German.

Pushback for the municipal mobility transition? Joint closing event of SÖF Junior Research Groups CIMT and MoveMe on 26th April 2024

The two junior research groups in Social-Ecological Research CIMT and MoveMe held a joint final event showcasing some results of their research into the transition to sustainable mobility. The event took place online on 26. April 2024. More information is available in German.

3rd workshop for practitioners on first results from surveys in case study municipalities

On 30 November we invited representatives of the municipalities with whom we cooperate in order to discuss the first results of the extensive surveys conducted by our research group. The focus was on the question of how the respective participation procedures are assessed by those participating and which aspects motivate or discourage such participation.

Despite the diversity of the five projects we examined (and the still small number of participants), the assessments of the people participating in such processes show a relatively high degree of agreement. Overall, the evaluations of the participation processes are rather positive with regard to the course of discussion and transparency. At the same time, however, there are also comparable challenges in all processes. For example, the representation of one’s own interests is rated as relatively good, but gaps in the representation of other opinions are perceived. Also, a balance of interests is not always achieved. Furthermore, the participants are rather sceptical about the actual impact of the participation results on the political process, even though they still deem such an impact possible.

There is more information available in German.

2nd workshop for practitioners on automated text analysis for citizen contributions

Part of the efforts of the research group is to develop tools that support the evaluation of citizen contributions from participation processes. On 10 December 2021 the research group hosted a workshop with practitioners (including local planning officials, participation officers and planning experts) to discuss our recent developments, part of which have been published in the Proceedings of the 8th Workshop on Argument Mining.

More information on the insights from the workshop is available in German.

Interdisciplinary course on exploring social status and language

This term we are offering a master course in which we use proposals from online consultation processes in conjunction with individual-level survey data to analyse if social status of participants is reflected in the language they use in their written proposals. To this end, we utilize AI-based methods of Natural Language Processing.

More information is available in German.