| 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Public invitation to join the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project
- As noted above, the project began by assembling a project implementation committee. Incentives were provided to the committee to implement citizen-led pilot projects. Every year, the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project plans were drawn and presentations were conducted in January and February. Then later from April to May, the city selected a public project targeting “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood Committee”. The public project was broken down into several different categories and sought to incorporate various ideas from citizens.
- Later each committee would select one task meeting to meet a neighborhood’s needs. Based on the selection, the city planned and implemented the project from July to November. To curb insufficiency, the pilot project focused on the facility improvement, with each neighborhood fulfilling two projects as a part of the “Clean Neighborhood Environment Campaign,” a community spirit development program.
Citizen Education for Sustainable Management
- The city actively ran programs to increase citizen participation in the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project. Leader development training was held every March. In addition, from August to September, the city provided the neighborhoods with such support as the “Mobile Citizen Education” program and a “Customized Consultation” program. These education programs were conducted regularly by a neighborhood-building support group established at the “Green Changwon 21 Conference.”
- The city identified special environmental projects for each neighborhood and conducted continuous workshops and conferences as part of an exchange activity. This helped each of theses neighborhoods transform into “green neighborhoods.”
Through these opportunities, various project categories were created and new approaches to projects were developed.
Continuous management of the yearly project evaluation and results report
- Project reports were prepared based on self-evaluations by each neighborhood. Every year, mid-term and final evaluations were performed through on-site verifications and resident interviews.
- The evaluation focused on the degree of voluntary citizen participation and how much the project contributed to an increase in citizen quality of life and a formation of local community.
- The project result presentations were held in December, and at the presentations, the city granted awards to neighborhoods that fulfilled their projects with excellence. In addition, citizens had an opportunity to present their cases during the evaluation process. This kind of event raised the self-respect of citizens and indirectly created awareness of other neighborhoods.
| 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The outcome was created by citizens, the government, administration, and NGOs
- The City of Changwon’s Environmental Capital Division managed the entire “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project, including obtaining project budgets and incentives. The Green Changwon 21 Conference established a neighborhood-building subcommittee and prepared a project manual. In addition, The Green Changwon 21 Conference performed a general role in implementing projects such as citizen education, setting up evaluation teams, developing the evaluation index, and project selection, evaluation, award presentation, and consultation support.
- The “Neighborhood-building Subcommittee” consisted of 13 committee members including an environmental NGO, local social NGOs such as the Changwon YMCA and the Gyeongnam Information Society Research Institute, as well as other volunteer groups, professors, and “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” committee chair members. After passing the subcommittee, the project went through the Operation Committee with help from the second Deputy Mayor and the Director of the Environment and Culture Bureau.
- Each local government office provided administrative support for each “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” neighborhood committee in order to ensure that the projects went smoothly. Each local “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” committee was responsible for discovering neighborhood projects, planning, and implementing projects accordingly.
Changwon City Council actively participated in “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” program
- The Changwon City Council Environment & Culture Committee made an endless effort to secure the budget for the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project. The legislation for the “Changwon Environmental Capital, Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood Regulation” project (2011.7.29.) was a good example of this. Legal support for the project was prepared by legislation.
- In addition, the city made efforts to seek ideas to preserve and develop the project as a brand in the future. In order to prevent a conflict of interests in advance, and to seek a mutual cooperation and form a consensus, the government-citizen panel consisted of interest parties and professionals such as Changwon City Hall, environmental organizations, citizen representatives, and university professors, to establish an organic cooperation system. This way all agendas were open to the public for discussion and public consent could be formed to solve issues.
| 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
Maximum utilization of the Community’s human resources
- Total directional support was an important factor necessary for area improvements, however human resources, from a variety of fields, and an involved populace were essential for the project’s success. Human capital was essential for the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project. Discovering and seeking recommended community members (professionals residing in the neighborhood) from each neighborhood was necessary for project successes.
- In addition, NGOs in the area actively provided technical and human resource support. When human resource capability in the neighborhood was too low to fulfill the needs of the project, technical and human resource assistance was provided to the neighborhood-building support group, thanks in part to experts from the “Green Changwon 21 Conference.”
- It is estimated that the help of over 200 people is required to perform one neighborhood project. However, as the scale and number of projects continued to expand, the demands for participation sharply increased.
In order to prepare for this resource increase, the project constructed and reinforced a network to ensure a smooth operation.
Projects’ financial resources were covered through local neighborhood fundraising and city subsidies
- Finances were provided by self-funding efforts from neighborhoods and were made possible through subsidies from The City of Changwon. Changwon allocated $192,000 USD in subsidies for its 2011 city budget for these projects. The supported projects and budgets were divided into three categories; pilot projects ($115,000 USD), “Clean Neighborhood Environment Campaigns” ($54,000 USD), and supporting projects for “Building Revitalized Neighborhoods” ($23,000 USD).
- In 2012, the budget for subsidies of these projects increased by 80%, with the total allocation increased to $350,000 USD.
The city provided $150,000 USD for the pilot project, $96,000 USD for its “Clean Neighborhoods Campaign”, $24,000 USD for “Building Revitalized Neighborhoods,” and $80,000 USD for the 5th “Building Revitalized Neighborhoods National Competition.”
- In 2013, a total of $284,000 USD of subsidies were allocated to pilot projects ($130,000 USD), the “Clean Neighborhoods Campaign” ($124,000 USD), and the “Building Revitalized Neighborhoods” project ($26,000 USD). Neighborhood fundraising and revenue from the Citizen Autonomy Committee provided ten percent of the total project costs.
- However, in the case of the Carbon Point System, the central and provincial governments provided partial support of the system. Changwon City also obtained additional financial resources and supported promotional efforts for citizens. These efforts included preparing promotional items and pamphlets, handling applications for the system, hosting the Carbon Point Contest, facilitating local leaders through the Green Leader Carbon Point System, and securing promotional personnel, operating promotion booths, running campaigns, and pursuing the Low Carbon Green Apartment Certification Project.
| 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
The Green City Ten Million Tree Planting Movement
- To increase recreational space within the city and to help Changwon achieve its goal of becoming the “Environmental Capital” of South Korea, a parks and green spaces project was initiated. This project resulted in the planting of 3.88 million trees, largely made possible thanks to active citizen participation. The effort helped reduce air pollution, as well as urban noise. Additionally, it helped reduce the average summer temperature by about 3 to 7 degrees Celsius, significantly decreasing the effect of suffocating summer heat.
Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Helping Families
- The Carbon Point System helped improve living conditions and increase family incomes, contributing significantly to “voluntary green practices” among citizens. After being introduced, the system reduced over 21,261 tons of carbon dioxide (the equivalent of planting 117,335 20-year-old nut pine trees). Thanks to the Carbon Point System, over the course of two years with this program Changwon families consumed 46,054Mwh less electricity and 5,238,000m3 less water.
Emphasizing the importance of art, tradition, culture and history
- Being an industrial city, Changwon had overlooked its preservation of local traditions and history. The city decided to create a mural street and employed local artists to produce artwork upon the street walls. In addition, the city transformed its city image from cold, industrial city to a bright and enjoyable city full of culture and tradition. The city allocated artifacts to small museums and set traditional sign stones for modern buildings. Citizens began visiting small museums that had previously been all but neglected. The mural street became a popular place for residents to visit and photograph, and attracted people from a variety of surrounding areas. Most importantly, these changes brought a needed sense vitality, life, history, and personality to the city.
Second-hand Markets and Daily Practicing of Separating Out Recyclable Items from Other Waste
- In one of Changwon’s neighborhoods, a second-hand market emerged, facilitating and popularizing the value of living frugally in one’s community. These ideas spread to the entire city and helped establish regular second-hand markets for each neighborhood. In doing this, citizens observed that possessions they perceived as lacking in value could provide value for others, thusly causing a mindset shift. Applying these newfound thoughts with regard to “waste,” citizens were better poised to adopt greener living practices. Second-hand markets also help improve and revitalize local economies and communities.
- In addition, the city launched a campaign encouraging citizens to separate out recyclable items from other waste. This campaign intended to curb disposable product usage in addition to further increasing household recycling practices. The campaign quickly spread throughout the entire city and soon residents from children to adults engaged in efforts to reduce waste, reduce resource consumption, and to help better protect their local environment.
Clean water, Healthy nature
Local citizens took the lead in accomplishing the “Saving Creeks and Streams” project as part of a wetland restoration and “Building Green Communities” campaign. Citizens conducted the field survey, observed problems that needed addressing and drafted the improvement plan by themselves. This served as a model case of local citizen involvement directly resulting in tangible project results.
In fact, because of this grassroots effort, water quality levels increased from a Level 3 to a Level 1.
| 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
Evaluation through citizen monitoring and professional assessment
- Citizens continuously monitored the “Building the Best (Eutteuem) Neighborhood” project. The project had also been evaluated several times a year by a committee of ten evaluators drawn from the Green Changwon 21 Conference and government employees from Changwon City Hall and local district offices.
- The results were evaluated from a variety of angles, and focused on the degree of feasibility, fulfillment, publicity and effectiveness, with regard to sustainability and the characteristics of the area. The city is currently building a database to compare its current data to the data from previous years.
Citizen participation is an important evaluation factor along with the project result
The “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project was created as a movement to recover environmental damage and re-inspire community spirit, making citizen participation an important measure of the program’s success. We discovered that community enthusiasm and participation heavily impacted our project’s success.
- When evaluating the project, Changwon City and the project steering committee based 60 percent of their evaluation on project results and 40 percent on citizen participation, ranging from community meetings, to citizen education, and citizen-government partnerships. The evaluation results were incorporated in the Changwon City BSC system (outcome/innovation management system) and used as a project an evaluation index for local administrative offices.
| 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
Budget was cut due to lack of understanding, Effort to obtain budget
- In the beginning of the project, our funding was removed from the city budget, because the Changwon City Council (Environment & Culture Committee) lacked full understanding of the project in 2011. Changwon City Hall and the Green Changwon 21 Conference made strong efforts to listen to citizen opinions and communicate with citizens through citizen education. Based on these efforts, they were able to convey the project’s importance to the Budget Committee. As a result, the city was able to obtain the necessary budget for the project. In order to ensure continuing support of the project, the “Changwon City Regulation for Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project required official legislation. The city legislation was set on July 13, 2011 and it provided a basis for continuation of the project.
Efforts to encourage declined citizen participation
- Due to the administrative integration of Changwon, Masan, and Jinhae, there were large gaps of knowledge in terms of government policy for environmental capital, environmental awareness, and in citizen knowledge regarding the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” project. These gaps posed large problems for the continuing success of the project. In addition, the neighborhoods that were not selected for the pilot project saw a decrease in citizen participation due to a drop in motivation. Furthermore, because many people did not understand the project, cultivating positive opinion from the public proved difficult.
- The city needed to persuade and educate citizens to resolve these issues. The city focused on reducing the gap between its new policies and the citizens’ lack of understanding by holding meetings hosted by the project implementation committee and by providing leadership training to district offices and neighborhoods. In addition, the city implemented a “Clean Neighborhoods Campaign” that encouraged the participation of all neighborhoods, especially those that were not selected for the “Building the Best (Eutteum) Neighborhood” pilot project. It was intended to encourage and increase participation from all citizens, regardless of neighborhood or district.
By the request of the citizens, seventeen NGO groups visited these neighborhoods and provided the same neighborhood leadership training sessions that had been provided at the beginning of the project. The city and the Changwon Urban Restoration Center co-sponsored the “Citizen University for Urban Restoration” program. These education sessions re-emphasized the importance of building quality neighborhoods and urban restoration, and furthered the success of the project.