A central question of the project "Psychological and Communal Empowerment through Participation in Sustainable Urban Reconstruction", realised by the city of Dortmund, was how people can be empowered to shape their living environment considering their own needs and values.
The launch of an urban real-world lab in the Social City project region of Westerfilde/Bodelschwingh was the main objective of the DoNaPart Project. Within this framework, the design and implementation of a sustainable transformation process in the fields of energy, mobility, and consumption has been realised.
Citizens, local companies, and civil society groups of the area affected by the programme were actively involved in the development and the implementation of interventions. For this purpose, an open meeting place was created for the duration of the project, as well as an open bike repair workshop, an open WiFi-network. And an energy-saving competition has been conducted. The project consortium attached great importance to such projects that enable social learning processes and can potentially be continued after the project’s official termination.
Before and after the interventions, a representative survey of 500 pollees was conducted in the relevant city district. This survey dealt with the internal, social, and behavioural aspects of empowerment. The psychological constructs regarding the three fields of action as well as aspects concerning the quality of life in the district were recorded. The survey was also carried out in a comparative district. Thus, the effects of the project were empirically verified.
The Wuppertal Institute was responsible for the field of energy as well as for the evaluation of the project. Individual measures and the entire package of measures were evaluated by the Institute's scientists. The project lead has been the Environmental Psychology Group at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences.