In today's fast pace societies and short political cycles governments want to do much quickly. It becomes a norm for decision makers to try to create as many infrastructure as possible during the time one is in a driving seat.
Such phenomenon is predefined by culture and trends we are living in. Therefore, adding a needed perspective to adjust actions to mores sustainable is a must.
Infrastructure is not a sum of objects, infrastructure is solutions to particular society's problems. In order to create the right ones, decision makers have to understand the context that problems are emerging from.
Our team joined Vilnius municipality planning department to identify what communities really need and apply it to the projects within particular districts.
The tasks we undertook were immense: symbolical and historical mapping, stakeholders identification, community gatherings, process facilitation, data harvesting, conflict transformation, insight formation. At the beginning the greatest challenge was to convince the municipality to allocate time for a dialogue with communities and related matters. We underlined that current disappointment and anger with the projects happening is due to not only misunderstanding the needs but also due to no communication whatsoever.
When some professionals from the municipality side agreed and got truly involved in the process, they saw how solutions emerged and community satisfaction increased. And that is not all. Also expenses on the projects diminished because local people knew more and needed less than previously thought. It was win-win-win by all means.
We have started working with the Old town district and Uptown part of the city. Some projects are being done, some on the way, some are just starting. Yet the landscape of how infrastructure is being perceived and how the communication is being done has changed.