Online Dialogue "Living Bridge" in HamburgA 700-metre-long bridge with footpaths and four lanes is being planned. This should start from the harbour city and lead to the "Small Grasbrook". A multi-storied complex with 1000 flats beside offices, shops and restaurants shall be constructed. Aside from being an architectural sensation, the "Living Bridge across the Elbe" would also allow the so-called "Jump over the Elbe" a desired goal of the administration. In the public online-dialogue, the city gives information about the planning, presents the drafts and asks the citizens about their opinions. Upon instruction of the Hamburg Senate, the Internet discussion was planned to proceed in different phases: Firstly, the pros and cons should be discussed. In the second phase, alternatives should be developed and public opinion could be shaped. At the beginning of January 2008, an interim report was presented to the public. In the third phase, a final discussion assessing the different suggestions took place. In the end, the feedback of 500 registered users, more than 1,600 contributions, as well as 22 argumentation threads - put together in Wikis - were very remarkable.
The technology behind:The online dialogue is based on our Dialog Management System. For TuTech in Hamburg a special surface and a customized dialogue workflow was established and used, under the label DEMOS. Our additional module for the integration of Google Maps facilitates the city-spatial features of the project. Citizens are able to locate their contributions directly on the city map or on the satellite view of the area. Through an icon, the contribution can be easily made accessible with all its context information.
"It is not about investigating the opinion of the majority, it is about getting to know the suggestions, representations and ideas, as well as the pros and cons." (A discourse participant)