On the coast of the Black Sea in the Georgian city of Kobuleti, the youth organization Youth Horizons used the OPIN map-based module to engage young people from different locations. The goal was, to include young people into the decision was should happen to open spaces in the town and which needs do they have for these spaces.
Spatial brainstorming was the first step to activate Young people from 12 different villages of the municipality. They voiced their ideas and got to know their fellow participants. Not only could they flag their thoughts on the map, but also discover their surroundings simultaneously. The community of young peers networked through the map. They could identify similar needs, draw connections and paint a bigger picture, which was: Ideas related to ecological issues, sports infrastructures, water supply, an adaptation of infrastructure to the needs of wheelchair users and faster internet. Apart from these obvious advantages of spatial brainstorming methods, they help to build communities in dispersed locations.
In Kobuleti different ideas mapped from dispersed locations were compiled into a recommendation document. It was submitted to the local self-government.
Often enough, decision-makers are confronted with seemingly contesting ideas, especially when you invite participants from different communities, villages or town. Having different proposal in one map helps to find a balance between multiple alternatives. Thanks to the OPIN map-based module, decision-makers were able to explore potential synergies by connecting multiple dots and reaching a conclusion.
It may not be feasible for a municipality to equip all the villages with fitness center within a short period of time, the possibility of establishing at least one fitness club among several villages could become a matter of decision-making. Mapping ideas and needs is a great first step in the eParticipation process because it brings out young participants’ needs and builds on local knowledge. It can then be followed by deeper exploration of the submitted ideas through other deliberative methods.
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