In planning, cooperation and communication in terms of involvement of the most different groups of society is not only just democratically intelligent in order to reach a valid consensus, but already a legal duty in many planning processes. As an example one could mention the involvement of representatives of people with disabilities in the development of public transport plans or railway programmes. Nevertheless, this legal implementation doesn’t necessarily guarantee good results, the shape and course of cooperation processes is especially crucial here. An important aspect is the moderation of cooperative planning. Essential for a good moderation is that the participants determine the work results freely and won’t be persuaded or pressurised by anyone. The group acts self-determinedly and on one’s own authority. In order to accomplish the best results, different interrogation, presentation and work techniques are applied. The moderator does not predetermine the result, but explain the method and organise the procedure. Based on this moderation codex, the Transport and Spatial Planning Institute uses different planning methods, with greater stress on the following:
A working group is defined by a quorum of people, who stand in direct interaction with each other, while it is possible for all members of the working group to communicate with any other member without hierarchic ranks within the group. The big merits of teamwork are e. g. the synergetic effects through combining the most different experiences and stores of knowledge, the reduction of risks concerning wrong decision-making, growing of the motivation and creativity as well as an increased acceptance of the decisions by involving the members in the decision-making process.
Workshops as a method are meant to be single meetings to work on a topic in order to reach valuable results. Basic elements are teamwork, the participation of specialists or concerned persons, the lead by a moderator, a sufficiently measured time budget as well as results that are effective on the long run. This working method shall activate synergetic effects by combining the participants’ different points of view as well as an increased acceptance of the decisions that are made collectively.