Community engagement and co-design process in Zalaegerszeg in the SHAREPLACE project

The City of Zalaegerszeg and Mobilissimus Ltd. implements the SHAREPLACE project with other international partners (from Austria, Italy, Germany and Croatia) in the next two years. The project of the Interreg Central Europe Program is funded by the ERDF, co-financed by the European Union and the Hungarian State. The two focus areas of the pilot project in Zalaegerszeg are the designing and testing of a new DRT (demand-responsive transport) service, and a commuting-related carpooling system.

In both cases two meetings (living labs) were organized with the concerned stakeholders by the end of May. The training on the methods of stakeholder involvement and co-design principles held for the project partners in Ulm on 22nd and 23rd March ensures a professional methodological background and gave useful inputs for the preparation of these living lab events.

One of the pilot elements is the development and testing of a new DRT service in the hilly, rarely populated residential areas of Zalaegerszeg, focusing on the permanent residents and owners visiting their plots regularly. The first meeting was held on the 19th April with the representatives of the three concerned areas including political decision makers and local citizens, where the main topics were stakeholder engagement and the common identification of problems. The second living lab event of the co-design process took place on the 9th May, where concrete comments and suggestions were made regarding the development of the DRT system. The participants received maps with the suggested routes of the new system, on which they could mark the critical elements of the routes and gave suggestions for the bus stops and new route ssections.

Another element of the project is to encourage ridesharing (carpooling) for employees while going to work. Our target group is primarily the employees of larger employers in the Zalaegerszeg area, who can be the potential users of the carpooling system. The first living lab event was held on the 9th May in the Mayor’s Office of Zalaegerszeg with the representatives of six local companies, with the focus on the common identification of problems and brainstorming. The second living lab event was held on the 24th May, where the participants tried to identify key factors influencing the success of the project together such as trust or motivation tools for willingness to use shared mobility options.

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