Hear what citizens have to say in Synthetron online dialogues

Inviting citizens to share their views

How citizens were invited by the Dutch Ministry of Environment to share their views on their future environment

Situation


The VROM (Dutch ministry of Environment) is responsible for the environment in which citizens live, work, and relax.
The Netherlands is a densely populated country requiring careful consideration of issues such as living space.
VROM decided to set up a vision development project for the ‘Randstad’ – the urban region including Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague – called ‘Randstad 2040’.

Approach


As part of the ‘Randstad 2040’ vision development project, 400 citizens were invited to discuss their views of the ideal future for the ‘Randstad’ through Synthetron online discussions. Participants had lively discussions about mobility, environment, living conditions, transportation, housing, urbanisation, etc. They visualised their ideal world, discovered dilemmas and explored the downsides of their choices.

Results


The results of these Synthetron sessions were used as input into meetings where citizens were invited to explore the issues further.
The findings were then analysed and presented to the Minister and top policy makers.
The Dutch parliament adopted some of the recommendations resulting from the study.