Involvement and Participation
Participation processes are particularly important when it comes to comprehensive construction and modernization measures. There is a legally prescribed participation process for construction projects, which we consistently adhere to. We also use comprehensive voluntary participation formats, which allow tenants to have their say, and through which they are empowered to exert influence on the design of respective projects, for example on the topics of residential environments and parking lot design. Actively designed participation processes and citizen involvement procedures therefore begin at the planning phase. This helps us to develop collaborative solutions for the respective neighborhood, although it is sometimes several years before the actual construction work begins.
We rely on various formats such as tenant surveys, door-to-door or one-on-one meetings, tenant meetings and workshops, as well as information events and neighborhood walks. The first point of contact for people in the neighborhood expressing their concerns will continue to be the caretakers and neighborhood managers as well as our leasing offices.
Dialogue remained impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2021. As a result, we continued to use our alternative approach which we had implemented in 2020 – such as contacting our tenants more frequently by phone, particularly long-term and older tenants. Personal appointments also took place following consultation and in strict compliance with hygiene regulations. We have replaced large information events with neighborhood tours in small groups and video conferences. However, participation thrives when there is a low barrier to entry, which is why digital formats have (so far) reached their limits here.
Projects in 2021 (Examples):
- Düsseldorf-Lichtenbroich neighborhood: As part of community development efforts, Vonovia gave more than 400 tenants the opportunity to contribute their ideas and suggestions regarding current project planning for the construction of 58 new residential units and 150 apartment buildings in online discussions and workshops.
- Duisburg-Hüttenheim neighborhood: We keep tenants informed of updates in community development in a contact-free manner due to the coronavirus restrictions. As we want to take as many of the residents‘ requests into consideration as possible, we invite them to participate in written letters, via the tenant app, and also directly by phone.
- Dortmund-Westerfilde neighborhood: New outdoor fitness facilities are to be built in the neighborhood. In order to do justice to tenants’ requests, Vonovia carries out an online survey. In answer to residents’ interests and needs, the neighborhood will be getting fitter.