Show colours for Münster

From EPSA - European Public Sector Award

Award nominee

‘Show colours for Münster’ is the name of a campaign launched in 2006, a popular way of involving Münster citizens in the upkeep and development of green spaces in the city. It has built up a strong brand: it lays claim to and is committed to a self-confident, proactive form of citizenship with the strong desire to pave the way for a sustainable city of the future. The campaign bridges a gap between the expectations of citizens (more flowers, better quality, more efforts) and politicians (more efficiently, with less money). It goes beyond the traditional administrational approach to optimisation, which is to improve internal organisation (reduce costs) and outsource services to private contractors. This is because it hands back the responsibility for a pleasant cityscape and tidy parks and lawns to those who see the benefits of it and, on the whole, signifies a profound change of perspective: if you want more than we are able to deliver at a certain price, do it yourselves!

‘Show colours for Münster’ is the slogan and the framework for a whole host of different activities. Every year, in early spring, all citizens are invited to a kick-off event; they plant flowers in their front gardens and around the trees in their streets. Firms and businesses sponsor tree plantings or take over the responsibility for public parks and traffic roundabouts. Housing associations give flowers to their tenants. Right from the beginning of the campaign, citizens and businesses invested countless hours and large sums of money in the upkeep of public (green) spaces. To give a few more examples: the people of Münster invested more than €210,000 in restoring a stretch of the ‘Promenade’, a 4.5 km long prominent avenue with double rows of lime trees all around the historic town centre, which had been devastated after hurricane Kyrill in early 2007, thus helping to replant 210 citizens’ trees.

Over the years, the campaign makers gained more and more experience and moved the campaign into new territory. ‘Show colours for Münster’ launched an initiative in mid-2008 to restore a derelict park. The people from the Kinderhaus district, often with a migratory background or socially deprived, breathed new life into a recreation area with picnic and barbecue facilities, outdoor chess boards, meeting places, new paths and new plants. The approach is a rather unusual one; using several photography workshops, the residents entered the field of green planning ‘through the back door’. They played a major role in the green planning of the park and the implementation, and they took over the responsibility for maintaining it.

Last but not least, the administration initiated the planning process for the future development of Lake Aa and its surroundings. Lake Aa is a 90-hectare inner city recreation area, which was named ‘Europe’s most beautiful park’ in a 2009 international competition. Through a detailed mediation process, peer groups, neighbours and all interested citizens had their say in the planning procedure and helped to set out a number of objectives. The process will be completed by mid-2011 before the city council takes a decision on the matter.

Award info
Award category: opening up the public sector
Award type: nominee
Award year: 2011
Project type
Sector: Environment, climate change, agriculture (incl. food safety) and fishery
Type of activity:
Keywords: Green spaces maintenance, green spaces development, branding
Short English description: ‘Show colours for Münster’ is the slogan and the framework for a whole host of different activities.
Further information
Organisation: Office for Green Spaces and Environmental Protection
Other applicants:
Level of government: local level
Size of organisation: >100
Number of people involved: >15
Country: Germany
EU membership: EU member
Language code: en
Start date:
End date:

Show colours for Münster (51.9491465, 7.6393967)
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