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In Finland, The Ministry of the Environment guidelines on safety and accessibility of built environment will be updated soon. What new could they bring in along the update? Shifting Gear is a project aiming to assist The Ministry of the Environment in supplying guidelines with material that opens up the need behind the regulations. Provided with the ‘why’ in the regulations, planners will have a better chance to empathise with the final user.
This concept proposal focuses on changing the process of guideline development, opening it up to more active citizen participation.
Current ministry guidelines are widely misread on various stages of building process. In the end final user may get hurt and businesses might lose money on unnecessary municipal restrictions. To guarantee the new guidelines to be as clear as possible ministry may focus on two simultaneous processes: development of the guideline per se and reinforcing partnership network via the dialog with the actors. There is a need of not only ministry reaching out to the publics, but general common understanding in between process participants. The actors will avoid fear of change, if it is clear why the change is suggested. This is important since to proceed any projects need internal ministry approval, and this approval is only granted when support of the publics is evident. Many of the problems of current regulations are already well known in within the Ministry and the work on improving the situation is going to take place. The idea is to create guidelines that are elaborate enough to be understood without a need for further interpretation.
Shifting gear is a concept of the possible communication strategy that allows The Ministry of Environment to produce valid guidelines independently from regulation writing process. Proposal embraces the idea of creating a long term strategic partnership the wider groups of actors. Particular attention in the project was paid to quick prototyping of solutions and rendering
systematic vision of the field. Traditional process of communication that Ministry executes is missing the link in between the government and publics. The Ministry of Environment is seen as a main client in this concept proposal. Information input and output from the Ministry itself were chosen as points of intervention with the major intention of suggesting an alternative to monologue style
of legislative affairs. Alongside with this procedural change in within the Ministry is being suggested.
You can read more in http://shiftinggearproject.tumblr.com/