Strengthening Spatial Planning and Land Management project is implemented by German Corporation for International Cooperation “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH” on behalf of the German Government and in partnership with local and central level government in Kosovo. In this project, there are two fields of action being implemented: support to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development (MAFRD) in checking and improving the practical feasibility of the legal framework developed to date for land consolidation; and, support to the Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning (MESP) and selected rural municipalities to prepare municipal development plans and municipal zoning maps as specified by the new Law on Spatial Planning in Kosovo.
Throughout project implementation, a special focus is given to the public engagement, though a long-standing practice for engaging with the public is to organize public gatherings. A new era began, however, when Dukagjin Bakija of GIZ Kosovo heard about Maptionnaire and decided to incorporate it to the local spatial planning process. Maptionnaire will be used in five of the municipalities, including the municipality of Peja (pop. 96,000) where the first survey was launched.
Residents of Peja were invited to express their ideas and insights through Maptionnaire analysing current state of affairs with services such as health, education, transport, etc., as well as providing orientation of their interests for future developments of city vision, use of space and priorities in investments.
The results indicate that the use of Maptionnaire methodology and tool has had a very positive impact on public participation:
The number of participants was high
Within just ten days of launching the Maptionnaire survey, the municipality had received 1,663 responses. The number was more than double compared to the 700 responses they had managed to gather during 14 days of public meeting sessions.
It was possible to get a broader overview of people’s opinions
The public meetings throughout the 14-day span were frequented by approximately 10-15 familiar faces. The outcome of the discussions in the conventional public meetings indicated that people were in favour of building high rises. The more diverse data set from the Maptionnaire survey revealed, however, that there are only two neighbourhoods demanding for more multi-storey buildings in Peja.
The survey was a triumph for gender equality
Contrary to conventional public participation processes, 45% of Peja’s Maptionnaire survey respondents were women. This is a significant improvement compared to the 5% share of women taking part in the face-to-face meetings.
The banner picture was taken from the Peja municipality website.