1. Participation

In the EU-project TENASSESS the importance of public acceptance of transport policies is emphasised and a few examples of participation processes in Europe are presented very shortly (TENASSESS 1999, final report p. 61-72).
Participation is vital for policy formulation as well as for implementation processes. It is a civilised way of bringing different intentions to a compromise and it gives all people involved the fair possibility to be heard and to achieve improvements. Figure 30 gives a snapshot of such a meeting.

5.1 Goals and principles in the planning process

The following goals should be reflected in a participation process:

  • Inclusion of all stakeholders
  • Planning as a joint process
  • Identification of the stakeholders’ needs
  • Information of the stakeholders about the planning process
  • Creation of trust between decision makers, planners and stakeholders

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Gaining consensus by balancing of interests during the planning process
  • Participation as a democratic principle to raise awareness and acceptance of decisions
  • Mediation and conflict management
  • Harmony between individual interests and social values (awareness raising helps to harmonise both)

Similarly, the following principles should be applied:

  • Design the participation process carefully
  • Start the participation process at an early planning stage
  • Establish trust among the participants
  • Provide comprehensive and complete information
  • Notify the participants of the time schedule right at the beginning of the planning process
  • Handle participation as a communication process – It is not a one-way information procedure
  • Achieve willingness to co-operate, fight NIMBY (not in my back yard)-positions
  • Stick to communication culture during discussions, etc.
  • Preparation

A thorough preparation in interaction with a time-planning is essential. The key questions to be answered are:

  • Who should get which kind of information, when and how?

Who should communicate what, with whom, when and how?

  • Who are the relevant participants (see “stakeholders”)?
  • Is a neutral person as a responsible moderator available?
  • Can the participation procedure plan stick to a time schedule and an organisation structure?
  • Can a professional management be financed during the whole participation process?

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Participants

The following participants should be invited into and included in a planning process (cp. chapter 4 “Management structures and Project groups”):

  • Politicians
  • Transport planners, traffic experts
  • Representatives of
  • Citizens
  • Local / regional tradespeople
  • Media
  • Interest and pressure groups
  • A neutral person has to be installed as a responsible moderator/ mediator of the participation management. The tasks between those, who are responsible for the participation process and those, who are in charge of the policy formulation process have to be defined and divided clearly.
    Transport related organisations (traffic police, PT-operator, etc.)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Communication and information

Both elements are vital for the participation process. A communication and information strategy has to decide, which materials, events and contents are suitable for which target group. A time- schedule has to be put up parallel to launch each information event at the appropriate time – that is when the best positive effect can be expected. The following table 14 gives an overview on target groups and events.










discussion of goals & scenarios



discussion of effects/ impacts of allocated




Detailed planning of measures Implemen




Politicians Leaflet,






Meeting with



Announcem ent by a periodic newsletter Discussion with citizens Periodic






Tradespeople Leaflet,



Meeting in the evening Leaflet,





Discussion with local business people Periodic


Media represen­tatives (TV, radio, press) Press









Citizens Media
















Exposition of plans Report,







Table 14: Analysis (matrix) of communication and information strategies during a planning process – Who? What? and How? (BOKU-ITS)

Another possibility is to allocate different materials to the possible target (groups) as shown in table 15:

  Information materials and events
Stakeholders Leaflet Periodic








Exhibition Workshop Citizens’


Politicians X X X X X X X
Citizens X X X X X X
Tradespeople X X X X X X
Media people X X X X


Table 15: Different information materials and events for different stakeholders (BOKU-ITS)

Different tools are used in the participation process. They can be structured as shown in table 16:

Tools to collect information for planning Tools to inform people Tools to communicate (planners & public) Consultancy tools
Opinion polls

Surveys of attitudes

Written information materials, leaflets Open council, working group Advisory board


of the stakeholders Bulk mail – targeted mailings Discussion, hearing Consultant on special
Surveys of   Workshop, forum, problems
problems, goals Interviews brainstorming Citizens’ advisor
Etc. Exhibitions,


Press coverage

Presentation of solutions by external experts


Excursion to study existing solutions

Conference with external experts




Table 16: Different tools used in the participation process (BOKU-ITS)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • The process

More details of a participation and communication process are given below.
An example of a participation process-flow is given in figure 32.

  • Invitation to the first citizens’ assembly with an enclosed questionnaire for the citizens – containing questions about problems, wishes and goals for the traffic
  • Realisation of the first citizens’ assembly in the first stage of planning
  • Invitation to the second citizens’ assembly with an enclosed short-presentation of measures
  • Preparation and implementation of a planning-exhibition with a presentation of the measures
  • Implementation of the second citizens’ assembly as a conclusion of the planning-exhibition
  • Realisation of a closed planning-meeting with project-accompanying working groups (2 – 4), depending on the progress. These working groups involve representatives of all political parties, lobby groups, tourism, citizens’ initiatives, schools, the police, the federal road administration, the federal railway administration, regional planners, etc.
  • Social empirical survey of all stakeholders (citizens, guests, politicians, lobby groups, etc) concerning their attitudes towards transport policy and awareness raising. These results are important for exposure of information deficits and useful for opinion-leading.

Numerous conflicts arise during a participation process. This is normal, as sensitive subjects

might be addressed and individuals sometimes overreact. The use of different means of

transport goes far beyond rationality . It can therefore be expected that emotions override

reasoning. Conflicts should be resolved in an early stage.

Four principles form a successful conflict-solving strategy:

  1. Separate the people from the problem
  2. Focus on interests, not on positions
  3. Invent options for mutual gain
  4. Insist on objective criteria

Policy Formulation and Implementation

6- Awareness raising & public relations

This topic has also been dealt with in “Mobility Management and Travel Awareness” prepared by FGM-AMOR.

The following chapter mainly provides the basics of Awareness raising & public relations and gives examples of estimations and attitudes of stakeholders, whereas chapter 3 “Contents on Travel Awareness” in the Mobility Management draft goes into detailed strategies and tools. Both sections are complementary.

6.1 Goals

The best concept is useless, when it is locked away in a closet. It is indispensable to raise awareness of problems and to promote good solutions. Coming solutions in transport policy will often have to be unpopular at the first look to achieve major steps in the direction of sustainability; popular solutions are mostly useless.

The following goals should be included in all awareness raising and P&R considerations:

  • Achieving conditions in transport policy as prerequisites of environmentally friendly traffic
  • Raising acceptance among the citizens for unpopular but necessary measures (e.g. road pricing)
  • Changing travel behaviour (switching to environmentally friendly modes)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Information and messages

The subjective situation biases the perception and assessment of the objective situation. Within an awareness process the structure of the interpretation of a situation and the information exchange and message transfer can be assumed similar to figure 34 and 35.

Message transfer

Figure 35: Process of information exchange and message transfer in a awareness-raising process (BOKU-ITS)

The following principles should be taken into account to phrase successful messages and information:

  • Principles:
  • Act always upon the needs of the “receiver” and on the options of the “transmitter”.
  • Empirical field-studies of possible alternatives may improve the efficiency and prevent failures.
  • Objectives: Messages should be objective, easily understood and clearly cognisable.
  • Subjective: Prevent arrogance – the “receiver” is intelligent enough to draw the right conclusions.
  • Relationship: Co-operation, in partnership with the “receiver”. (We are in the same boat, together we can achieve fundamental solutions for traffic problems.)
  • Appeal: Should be formulated emotionally, socially and coherently.

Policy Formulation and Implementation

This contents of a message are shown in an example: A message of a cyclists’ lobby group:

  • Message: “Use the bicycle more often, because it is cheap in use, environmentally friendly and saves road space”.
  • Objectives: “Cycling is more reasonable in the city than driving a car.”
  • Subjective: “We have found the philosopher’s stone! We are the Gurus of transport planning!”
  • Relationship: “You need to be informed!”
  • Appeal: “Change from car-use to the bicycle!”
  • Target groups

It is important to address the target groups with reasonable messages at the right time. It is recommended to start with the information of opinion leaders in the first step and to focus on the general public later on.

  • 1st step: Institutional persons

Politicians, opinion leaders, transport experts, media representatives, etc. ^ “Snowball-effect”

  • 2nd step: Citizens, the public

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • The process of awareness raising

The beginning should always be an analysis of the market and of the current problems to avoid a jump into the cold water. This step has to be planned and can be divided into subtasks.
A flow-chart illustrating the process of public relations and awareness raising is shown in figure 36.

  • Definition of goals and of the target groups
  • Concept of the analysis of the market for the defined target groups
  • Attitudes of the target groups towards transport policy
  • Level of information of the target groups, revealing of information deficiencies (e.g. concerning effects of 30 kph-zones)
  • Estimation of attitudes of other groups towards transport policy, revealing of wrong estimations
  • Realisation of the market-analysis by a survey of the target groups
  • Analysis of the survey’s results

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Figure 37 shows different attitudes of target groups/stakeholders towards proposed sets of measures in transport demand management (REFLEX 1999).

■ journalists

  • ex perts
  • shop-keepers
  • politicians
  • citizen

0% 10% 100% Rate of acceptance

Figure 37: Attitudes concerning concrete measures in transport demand management of all target groups, cross site comparison of the four tested European cities in REFLEX (1999)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Figure 38: Deficiencies of information of the citizens concerning the effects of 30 kph on congestion. Approval rates to the question: “The implementation of 30 kph in the minor road network will lead to congestion. ” Graz 1992 (SAMMER, ROESCHEL 1998)
An example of deficiencies of information of the citizens of Graz concerning the effects of city­wide 30 kph-zones on congestion shows figure 38.

This example shows that measures have to be targeted specifically to be both effective in terms of awareness raising and in terms of cost-efficiency. To development measures oriented at target groups effectively, the following questions have to be answered:

  • Who needs what kind of information at which time in order to develop awareness?
  • What kind of media is suitable for the specific information and communication purposes?
  • Concept of the measures in alternatives

The efficiency of the intended measures should be checked in a pilot-test (pre-test). Selected groups are confronted with the draft of the intended procedures, measures, events, etc. Their reactions are valuable input for the finalisation of the coming events. The following recommendations are given:

  • Goals:
  • Raising vigilance
  • Preventing failures
  • Reducing of costs

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Testing effects of alternatives of the designed measures concerning the information material (e.g. logos, slogans, folders, posters, etc.)
  • How is the message picked up?
  • Are the goals going to be achieved?
  • Methods:
  • Field-study with only a small sample size (20 – 30 persons per target group)
  • Focus-groups

Figure 39 shows, how the same measure was advertised with two different slogans. This resulted in substantially diverse acceptance rates.

Figure 39: The introduction of city-wide 30 kph-zones was tested for acceptance in a field study with two
The speed limit shall be set at 30 kph in the minor road network of the city of Graz.

different slogans resulting in different acceptance rates

(Graz 1989, different target groups) (SAMMER, ROESCHEL 1998)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Measures and instruments

Different media, instruments and tools can be distinguished for public relations and awareness raising. Examples in two groups are given below (table 17). Please note that there are “one-way- information” tools and others allowing communication in both directions.

Information possibilities (“one way”): Communication activities (“two way”):
Leaflets for politicians, experts, representatives of Individual marketing, telephone hotline
lobby groups

Folders for citizens’ information

Fliers and stickers for car-drivers, pupils and associations

Talks with citizens, assemblies

Mobilisation of opinion leaders

Information events with citizens, associations,

Posters and banners for streets, shops, schools, firms, etc. parties, lobby groups, in firms, schools, etc.

On-street exhibitions, information stands at markets

Current press information

Advertisements with objective contents


or squares

Discussions on radio/ TV


Table 17: Information possibilities and communication activities for awareness raising (BOKU-ITS)


Strategic recommendations for awareness raising and public relation efforts in transport planning are as follows:

  • Stages
  • 1st stage: Achieve general awareness of the transport and environmental problems
  • 2nd stage: Create personal concern
  • 3rd stage: Present general goals and solutions (in alternatives) (showing examples of use, etc.), gain social acceptance
  • 4th stage: Offer concrete measures as solutions
  • 5 th stage: Stabilise the acceptance
  • Rules
  • Choose a value system, where the advantages and general
  • Use arguments, which have the greatest possible approval

stakeholders, knowledge of the market)

  • Present these arguments with self-confidence

Policy Formulation and Implementation

  • Tell the majority (e.g. users of PT and non-motorised road users – compared with car drivers), that they are a majority (^ Survey on travel behaviour, knowledge of the market)
  • Tell the minority (e.g. speeding car drivers), that they are a minority (^ knowledge of the market)
  • Reveal false estimations, which single person groups (e.g. politicians, experts) might have of others (e.g. citizens). Expose them at first to opinion leaders and – if practical – to the public (e.g. Politicians often assume that citizens reject “30 kph-zones”.)
  • Stir up interest for the problems and understanding for the attempts for solutions.
  • Tell the people, what they should do and how. Make them believe, that the suggested solutions are their own ideas.
  • Discuss goals in detail, but no measures. – They are the logic outcome of goals.

The following figures show examples of the awareness raising process accompanying the introduction of city-wide 30 kph-zones in the city of Graz, Austria. It can be seen that:

  • different stakeholders had different perceptions towards and attitudes of the measures;
  • most groups misjudged the attitudes of the other group(s) significantly;
  • corrections of these misjudgements concerning other groups’ attitudes could be achieved;
  • the attitudes have changed generally during time.

It is easy to imagine that misjudgements concerning other groups’ attitudes lead to totally wrong perceptions of a situation and – what is momentous – also to wrong decisions based on this information deficit.

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Figures 40 and 41 show false estimations of stakeholders concerning the attitudes of the other groups.

VJ                                                 KJ
In the city centre car-drivers are not allowed to drive
faster than 30 kph on minor roads.

E-1 1985                                       Estimations they have of                                Their own attitudes

□ 1989                                               citizens’ attitudes

Figure 40: False estimations which opinion leaders (politicians, experts, journalists) had of citizens’ attitudes concerning the introduction of city-wide 30 kph-zones in Graz. Politicians and experts were informed about the attitudes of citizens after the 1985 survey. This led partly to a removal offalse estimations 1989 (SAMMER, ROESCHEL 1998)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Figure 42 and 43 show how false estimations concerning attitudes of other groups of stakeholders could be corrected in the awareness raising process, figure 44 shows how the information deficits of the general public could be removed with a field test.
Figure 41: False estimations which citizens have ofpoliticians ’ attitudes concerning the question of a survey: “Money for the promotion of PT should be raised by a tax on petrol reserved for this purpose. ” (Graz 1992) (SAMMER, ROESCHEL 1998)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

Figure 42: Successful correction offalse estimations which politicians had of citizens’ attitudes concerning “Priority of non-motorised modes over car-traffic in cases of conflict “(Graz 1988 and 1992) (SAMMER, ROESCHEL 1998)

Figure 43: Successful correction offalse estimations which politicians had of citizens’ attitudes concerning “Priority of PT over car-traffic in cases of conflict” (Graz 1988 and 1992) (SAMMER, ROESCHEL 1998)

Policy Formulation and Implementation

1992: “30 kph in the minor road network will lead to congestion.”

Figure 44: Successfully removing citizens’ information deficits concerning “Effects of 30 kph on congestion” in a field-test (Graz 1988 and 1992) (SAMMER,