Transition towards urban sustainability through socially integrative cities in the EU and in China


1. Purpose(s)

Awareness raising is a process which informs and educates people about a topic or project and manages expectations, behaviors and beliefs towards the achievement of a defined purpose or goal. The instrument usually combines a variety of campaigns while applying diverse channels of communication.

Key elements are:

  • Setting of objectives and outcomes that awareness raising aims to achieve;
  • Defining target groups that awareness raising messages should reach;
  • Formulating effective key messages that need to be conveyed;
  • Identifying most effective methods, activities and channels to raise awareness and to bring the messages to the defined target groups. Different target groups may require different methods and means to reach the desired outcomes;
  • Determine partners and networks to help spread the message;
  • Identify the sources of funding and the required budget;
  • Setting up a monitoring and evaluation plan to assess the progress and to make adjustments if necessary.

Key Words: awareness; raising; process; education

2. Relevance and Impact

Awareness rising can be used in daily life environment. People see campaigns e.g. on buses or trams and with this a broad group of people can be reached and informed about specific topics, such as, the impact through using public transportation. In the best-case people will understand the importance for specific topics and as a long-term result people may change their behaviours.

In the case study cities, awareness raising was used as a tool in the cities of Vienna and Suzhou. Vienna has a holistic approach, which is related to the entire urban area and focus on powerful communication campaigns. In Suzhou the approach focuses on one problem district with faces many elderly people, lack of communication among neighbors, increasing sinking population, poor management of corridors and pipes, and environmental cleanliness and the actions are more hands on.

The tool as such was not tested as planned on a large scale within the project because of COVID-19. The tool was presented as an approach in the online workshop in August 2020 and examples were shared with Chinese partners. Due to COVID 19, it was not possible to test it in a Living Lab workshop in China.

3. Strenghts

A broad group can be reached by simple measures, the knowledge of people on the topic increases and opinions and conflict of interests can be detected, expectations of people can be easily understood and managed.

4. Weaknesses

A Living Lab approach requires a highly transparent, well guided and moderated process. The quality of the solution depends on the involved participants, their motivation, agenda and mindsets.

5. Good practice examples

Vienna (map): Smart Management for Smart Cities (Strategy)

For a forward-thinking development a base of broad acceptance and commitment, understanding, interest, awareness and the recognition of benefits and responsiveness among various actors are important. Therefore, Vienna has tailored a specific communication and involvement approach by adopting a short- and long-term cross-media communication strategy, including website operations, social media presence, offline events, advertising etc., PR and media coaching for experts at all relevant and leading units and event and participation management.

6. References

7. Author(s) of the article