Statement on our withdrawal from the citizens' participation process at Steintor
Major differences in content with the city administration with regard to the ongoing participation process at Steintorplatz prompted us to withdraw from the contract to help shape this process on site. The last few weeks have shown that unfortunately it does not seem possible to establish a constructive working relationship with those responsible in the building department. We are still of the opinion that this civic participation and participative urban design in general is the right step in Hannover's urban development and a sustainable tool for spatial and social transformation.
For us, however, a citizen participation process is not a commercial service, but a social mission. This means that it must not be an appeasing citizens' consultation, but a democratic tool that empowers citizens for active participation and opens up the possibilities for open, transparent and demand-oriented urban design.
In the course of the citizens' participation procedure at Steintorplatz, it is particularly important to us that all opinions are included and that all citizens are heard, especially those who live and work in the affected areas. In our opinion, uncomfortable opinions must not only be heard, but also included in public discourse. The citizens of Hanover have demanded by petition the right to an open-ended, large-scale participation procedure on the future of Steintorplatz and have been assured by Council decision. In the course of our participation in this participation process, we have assured the people who have contributed and expressed their opinions that all their opinions and perspectives will be heard and incorporated into the announced result - the Steintor DNA. We made this promise on the basis of the binding terms of reference in the tender documents. In addition, in accordance with this task, we have introduced our tools and methods for solving this responsible task. The repeated unprofessional actions of the responsible persons in the building department regarding these methods lead us to the result that we cannot keep this promise and let us doubt the character of the whole process.
With our sense of values, which is the basis of our work, we do not reach an agreement with the city administration and have therefore taken the entrepreneurial decision to withdraw from this mission.
We did not make this decision easy.
We have considered for a very long time whether this decision would allow us to evade our responsibility towards the city. However, we have come to the conclusion that our responsibility towards the city society must outweigh our responsibility towards the city administration.
From now on, we will continue to participate in this process as citizens and do everything we can to make it happen. We hope that especially now many other citizens will take an active part in this process and contribute their opinions, wishes and ideas about Steintorplatz.
We are open to any kind of discussion and opinion, especially with regard to our decision, and are particularly pleased about any discussion about the responsibility of urban designers towards the various parties involved.
endboss GmbH - 5 September 2018