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RECODE GAARDEN OST


WHAT KIELER WANT

PHASE II: NEIGHBOURHOOD IDENTITY GUIDE Report by Clear Village for Chronos Asset Management & Etikstudio Ltd. Report date: November 2011

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CONTENTS PART 1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

PAGE 6

PART 2: BUILDING NEIGHBOURHOOD IDENTITY

PAGE 10

PART 3: REFURBISHING APARTMENTS

PAGE 32

PART 4: IMPROVING COMMUNAL SPACES

PAGE 60

PART 5: ENHANCING SERVICES

PAGE 82

PART 6: IGNITING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

PAGE 104

PART 7: TELLING THE STORY

PAGE 128

PART 8: THE CHANGE PROCESS

PAGE 142

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Building on the CLEAR VILLAGE Well-Being Analysis, this Neighbourhood Identity Guide describes how Chronos can enhance the well-being of its tenants in Gaarden-Ost. The importance of this goal cannot be overstated. Chronos’s three bottom-line aims are to increase rents, reduce vacancies, and lower turnover- and tenant well-being has a direct impact on all of them. Firstly, tenants who are satisfied with their overall ‘living package’ (which includes different elements such as their apartment, the neighbourhood and service levels) will be more prepared to pay higher rents. Secondly, satisfied tenants will promote the neighbourhood through their own channels and thus help to recruit new tenants who will reduce vacancies. And thirdly, satisfied tenants are less likely to move than dissatisfied tenants and thereby contribute to lower turnover. In short: enhancing tenant well-being is a powerful instance where social good and business goals are mutually beneficial.

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The focus of this guide is on a variety of aspects that impact tenant well-being. These are discussed in separate sections, though it goes without saying that aspects overlap and support each other. For example: improving communal spaces (as discussed in section 4) is also an essential component in bringing people together and igniting the neighbourhood (as discussed in section 6). This point should be kept in mind when reading this guide. Though for clarity’s sake the

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recommendations are made within the confines of individual sections, they are closely interlinked and add up to an overall construct of recommendations to support the Gaarden-Ost change process, or Recode, on which Chronos is about to embark. The approach in this guide is not to over-complicate the change process by proposing a multitude of initiatives or suggesting schemes which are blatantly unrealistic, for example for reasons of cost. Instead, and in line with the discussions with Chronos, it is to: The “few things” that are proposed in this guide can be summarised as follows:

SECTION 2: BUILDING NEIGHBOURHOOD IDENTITY discusses the current values that have been identified in the Gaarden-Ost neighbourhood (or rather: the Chronos neighbourhood within Gaarden-Ost). These values - local identity, diversity and community spirit - are the bedrock of the neighbourhood and should be bolstered by the change process. But they should also be complemented with another value, sustainability, to ensure that the neighbourhood identity is forwardlooking and attractive to desired new tenants. In dealing with the neighbourhood, a new management style is proposed for all the key actors in the change process which focuses on the crucial elements of Respect, Allow and Ignite. And finally, the challenge of difficult tenants is discussed. This is undoubtedly the largest obstacle to building neighbourhood identity and needs to be addressed to restore the community fabric.


ONLY DO A FEW THINGS. BUT DO THEM WELL.

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RECODE PART 1

SECTION 3: REFURBISHING APARTMENTS

SECTION 5: ENHANCING SERVICES

focuses on the 9 vacant Chronos apartments. An analysis of the rental market in Kiel in general and Gaarden-Ost in particular is provided, on the basis of which typologies for potential new tenant groups are developed. Three levels of refurbishment interventions are then described - simple, medium and larger - touching on a variety of aspects such as floorplans, interiors, aesthetic improvements, and sustainable solutions. Additionally, the relation of each level of intervention to the desires and demands of different tenant typologies is explained. Finally, attention is drawn to the fact that Chronos’s other properties in Gaarden-Ost are also in need of refurbishment and that it would be highly beneficial to develop an incremental refurbishment plan.

describes the gap that currently exists between Chronos’s objective of providing superior service and the tenant experience on the ground. In order to bridge this gap, a new baseline of services is proposed including the establishment of a Hausmeister office, increased presence and accessibility, and setting and monitoring service targets. In addition, the Hausmeister+ programme is proposed as a pilot scheme which could be trialled in Gaarden-Ost and subsequently rolled out at Chronos’s other properties. Given the potential impact for tenants and the value from a communications perspective, it is clear that the Hausmeister+ programme would provide tremendous support to Chronos’s goal of positioning services as a unique selling point.

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SECTION 4: IMPROVING COMMUNAL SPACES discusses the value of communal spaces for a community and explains the current issues in this respect as perceived by tenants. Two initiatives are proposed to deal with the most pressing problems. Firstly, the Big Tidy outside focuses on improving the bin areas and engaging with the community to enhance eco-literacy around waste separation. And secondly, the Big Tidy inside addresses the issue of bulky waste in the attics and basements and proposes solutions to allow tenants to reappropriate these spaces as well as to upcycle bulky waste in a sustainable manner. Given tenant interest in communal spaces, a process of co-designing improvements can be initiated as a follow-up to the two Big Tidy initiatives.

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SECTION 6: IGNITING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD describes three initiatives to ignite the community spark in Gaarden-Ost. Firstly, the Big L(a)unch aims to get tenants out of their flats and bring them together for a communal meal, whilst also providing Chronos with a public platform to present the change process. Secondly, the Green Flats initiative is a simple and low-cost scheme to raise tenant awareness of energy savings and sustainability. And thirdly, the Community Participation initiative aims to foster community spirit: on the one hand by involving tenants in the refurbishment process and on the other hand by supporting them in helping each other with everyday tasks.


SECTION 7: TELLING THE STORY focuses on successful communications. In order to brand the change process, a new brand identity is defined and a new graphic identity is provided. In addition, a reservoir of story assets is described and recommendations are made on how they should be tailored for different audiences. Finally, whilst in the immediate term communication activities would be conducted through Chronos’s current channels, it may be of value to re-evaluate these and develop a new overall communications strategy.

SECTION 8: THE PROCESS presents all the ‘action modules’ recommended in the course of this guide and outlines the next steps for Chronos and Etikstudio to embark on Phase 3 of their collaboration and kick-start the change process in Gaarden-Ost.

Viewed in their totality, the recommendations in this guide constitute a comprehensive, holistic and also eminently feasible roadmap to ‘RECODE’ GaardenOst: i.e. to increase tenant well-being and ignite the neighbourhood, whilst at the same time contributing to Chronos’s bottom-line goals and allowing the company to position itself on superior service levels and an innovative approach to corporate social responsibility, in which tenant well-being is not a soft extra but a key strategic goal. Moreover, the recommendations have been designed for maximum replicability so that Chronos can pilot and assess them in Gaarden-Ost, adjust and refine them if necessary, and subsequently roll them out to its other properties in Potsdam, Dresden and Erfurt as well as to others that will be acquired in future.

"WE DON'T NEED MIRACLES TO HAPPEN HERE, BUT RE-INSTATEMENT OF COMMON DECENCY IS CERTAINLY CALLED FOR." A RESIDENT ABOUT THE COMMUNAL SPACE

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PART 2: BUILDING NEIGHBOUR HOOD IDENTITY 11


RECODE PART 2

As was discussed in Clear Village’s Well-Being Analysis of Gaarden-Ost, the neighbourhood currently has a number of clear strengths and weaknesses that impact tenant well-being. On the positive side, tenants mentioned the infrastructure, the natural environment, and education and healthcare systems. On the minus side, tenants cited the state of neglect of the properties and communal spaces, as well as low service levels around matters such as maintenance, repairs and waste management. As was pointed out in the WellBeing Analysis, the community dimension provided a mixed picture:

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“There is a level of integration, diversity, tolerance and community identification which can be built on and which was cited by several tenants as an extremely attractive aspect of the area (and which could in time become a selling point to new target tenant groups). Yet there are also some striking weaknesses, with few opportunities to build more community spirit and a high fluctuation of (sometimes difficult) tenants.”

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Given that the goal of the refurbishment is to enhance tenant well-being and given the extreme importance of the community dimension in this respect, it is worth exploring these findings in more detail. As a point of departure, it should be stressed that despite its somewhat negative image, GaardenOst is not a ghetto. And although one of Chronos’ goals is to attract new tenant groups in order to be able to raise rents, the current community should not be disregarded but should be viewed as an asset. In order to make the most of this asset, it is essential to understand the current neighbourhood identity. What are the strengths and values that can be built upon? Should any other values be promoted to enhance the neighbourhood? And what are the challenges that need to be tackled? In order to answer these questions, it is essential to listen to tenants’ thoughts, ideas and dreams.


“I'VE BEEN HERE FOR 40 YEARS AND I HAVE SEEN LOTS OF THINGS COME AND GO.” A RESIDENT ON HER CONNECTION TO GAARDEN-OST

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RECODE PART 2

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD VALUES Analysing the tenant feedback that has been collected to date, it may be said that the GaardenOst neighbourhood identity currently has three values that can be built upon. They are not unconditional strengths; they are germinal and need to be fostered. But they are sufficiently pronounced to serve as the foundation for the refurbishment.

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Especially among longer-term residents, there is a strong sense of identity towards Kiel in general and Gaarden-Ost in particular. This feeling of identification, of pride and commitment to place, is a valuable asset. Just as even a minor football team will have its loyal fan base, so Gaarden-Ost also has its long-term dedicated supporters.

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“I’VE LIVED HERE WITH MY HUSBAND FOR 40 YEARS. I RAISED MY DAUGHTER HERE AND HAVE SEEN LOTS OF THINGS COME AND GO.” “I’VE BEEN HERE SINCE 1958 AND RAISED MY FAMILY HERE.” “I’VE LIVED IN GAARDEN FOR 20 YEARS AND RAISED MY CHILDREN HERE.” “I’M A COMPLETE KIELER. I GREW UP HERE.”


LOCAL IDENTITY 15


RECODE PART 2

Gaarden-Ost has a diverse population with residents from many different countries. Though this also poses certain challenges, it can be turned into a strength, as has been the case in Neukölln for instance, as is described in section 7 of this guide. Interestingly, one tenant actually referred to Gaarden-Ost as the Neukölln of Kiel.

“MY CHILDREN GREW UP IN THIS MULTICULTURAL NEIGHBOURHOOD AND HAD TURKISH, GERMAN AND BLACK FRIENDS. THAT WAS ALL VERY NICE. MY DAUGHTER EVEN LEARNT TURKISH.” “I MOVED TO GAARDEN ESPECIALLY BECAUSE IT’S VERY OPEN FOR NORTH GERMAN STANDARDS. I GREW UP IN BERLIN AND HAVE ALWAYS LIKED MULTICULTURAL AREAS. THINGS ALWAYS SEEM MORE TOLERANT THERE; THERE ARE MORE TOLERANT PEOPLE.” “THERE’S A NICE ARABIC FAMILY IN THE BUILDING, AND GOOD TURKISH NEIGHBOURS, AND A BLACK FAMILY WITH CHILDREN THE SAME AGE AS MINE.” “I LIKE A LIVELY AREA LIKE THIS.”

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“IT’S LIKE A LITTLE NEUKÖLLN.”

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DIVERSITY 17


RECODE PART 2

In the course of the Well-Being Analysis many instances of community-spirited action were identified in Gaarden-Ost, with tenants showing eagerness both to help others and to improve the neighbourhood. Though tenants were often faced with obstacles, especially with regard to improving the neighbourhood, they were nonetheless keen to take action.

“EVERYONE RESPECTS EACH OTHER AND HELPS EACH OTHER.” “THERE WERE PIGEONS IN THE ATTIC. I’VE CLEANED UP THERE MYSELF AND PUT UP A WINDOW GRATE.” “WE HELP THE NON-GERMANS WITH BUREAUCRATIC MATTERS.” “PEOPLE LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER; WE NOTICE WHEN WE HAVEN’T SEEN SOMEONE FOR A FEW DAYS; AND WE HELP THE FOREIGNERS WITH OFFICIAL LETTERS.”

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“SOME OF THE OLDER PEOPLE HAD TROUBLE WALKING ON THE PAVEMENTS. SO TOGETHER WITH SOME OF THE NEIGHBOURS WE LIFTED SOME OF THE FLAGSTONES, CUT THE ROOTS UNDERNEATH THEM AND PUT THEM BACK AGAIN TO MAKE THE PAVEMENTS LEVEL.”

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COMMUNITY SPIRIT 19


RECODE PART 2

As mentioned previously, these three neighbourhood values - Local Identity, Diversity and Community Spirit - are still germinal in nature. They are not yet vibrant enough to counteract some of the negative aspects of the neighbourhood. They need to be supported, nourished and grown. Yet they provide an initial foundation which can be built upon as an appealing feature both for current tenants and new ones. However, in view of Chronos’ interest in sustainability and the fact that a neighbourhood identity needs to be built which does not only appeal to current tenants but also to desired new tenants, it is recommended that two final values are added to the equation:

SUSTAINABILITY FUTURE LIFESTYLE

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It should be pointed out that this value is not established among current tenants. Though many tenants show a number of good sustainable behaviours, such as low energy consumption and car use, this is primarily due to their financial situation. In the course of the Well-Being Analysis, little interest in and awareness of the topic of sustainability was encountered, and building it up as a neighbourhood value will therefore take time. Yet the challenge is certainly not insurmountable. By means of initiatives such as the one discussed in section 6, which aims to hook tenants by tying sustainable behaviour to cost savings, the value can gradually be promoted in the neighbourhood and grow into a conscious strength.

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SUSTAINABILITY

FUTURE LIFESTYLE 21


RECODE PART 2

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD CHALLENGES Having discussed the community strengths and values that can be built upon, it is important also to identify the challenges to the neighbourhood identity. It is crucial to be realistic in this respect and to acknowledge that most tenants believe that there is a serious lack of community feeling at present. And in fact, what little community feeling there is, is often confined within individual buildings.

“THERE’S NO FEELING OF COMMUNITY AT ALL RIGHT NOW.” “THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THE NEIGHBOURS IN MY BUILDING.” “I’M THERE FOR THE PEOPLE IN MY BUILDING BUT NOT FOR THE OTHERS.” “I DON’T HAVE MUCH CONTACT WITH THE NEIGHBOURS IN MY BUILDING, LET ALONE THE PEOPLE IN THE OTHER BUILDINGS. IT WAS BETTER IN THE PAST; THE CHILDREN USED TO PLAY TOGETHER OUTSIDE.”

Part of the problem identified by tenants was that there were no communal events that could serve to bind the neighbourhood together.

“I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE COMMUNAL EVENTS IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD AGAIN.” “IT WOULD BE GOOD TO DO SOMETHING LIKE A BARBECUE AGAIN; WE HAVEN’T DONE THAT FOR A LONG TIME.” “IN THE PAST THERE USED TO BE BARBECUES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD; THAT HAS COME TO AN END IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.” Yet there were two other problems that were perceived as by far the most important. The first is the high rate of tenant turnover.

“A BIG PROBLEM IS THAT TENANTS CHANGE EVERY 3 MONTHS.” “I DON’T HAVE MUCH CONTACT WITH THE PEOPLE IN THE BUILDING, ESPECIALLY BECAUSE THERE IS SUCH A HIGH TURNOVER.”

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“THERE’S NO FEELING OF COMMUNITY AT ALL BECAUSE THE TURNOVER IS MUCH TOO HIGH.”

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And the second is antisocial behaviour by difficult tenants.

“SOME PEOPLE THROW BOTTLES OUT OF THE WINDOW WHEN THEY DRINK.” “MY DIRECT NEIGHBOUR SEEMS TO BE PSYCHOLOGICALLY ILL.” “I’M AFRAID OF THE DRUG ADDICT WHO MOVED HERE.” “BUMS BREAK DOORS AND DESTROY THE PEACE. SOMETIMES A NEIGHBOUR SLEEPS IN THE STAIRCASE BECAUSE HE’S TOO DRUNK.” “THERE ARE A LOT MORE FOREIGNERS AND UNEMPLOYED AND THE QUALITY OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD HAS DETERIORATED.”

Not surprisingly, many tenants feel as a result that the neighbourhood can only be improved if the challenge of difficult tenants is confronted headon.

“I’D LIKE TO SEE THE DRUG ADDICTS THROWN OUT.” “THE LANDLORD COULD MAYBE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE TENANTS.” Whilst a community can (and arguably should) absorb a certain number of difficult tenants, this should not be the defining element of the place and corrective action needs to be taken to address this point. The solution is of course not the emotive idea of “throwing people out” - but a more nuanced approach, as described further on, can help Chronos to move towards a more balanced tenant composition in the future.

“THERE’S NO NEIGHBOURHOOD INTEGRATION BECAUSE OF HIGH TURNOVER AND DIFFICULT TENANTS.”

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CASE STUDY RECODE RECODE PART PART 23

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CASE STUDY PART 3

RECODE

“YOU GET OUT OF LIFE WHAT YOU PUT INTO IT” ARISTOTLE, 300 BC

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RECODE PART 2

THE TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT Having defined the current strengths and challenges, the following points are proposed as the framework for building neighbourhood identity in Gaarden-Ost: nourishing the values inherently present, adopting and streamlining an effective management style and facing up to current challenges.

NOURISH THE VALUES

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The values that have been discussed will serve as the bedrock of the neighbourhood identity and need to be nurtured and grown in the course of the refurbishment. In this guide various initiatives are described that will help to ignite them, including the Big L(a)unch to celebrate local identity and diversity, the Green Flats scheme to bolster sustainability, and the Community Participation scheme to foster community spirit. Of course additional initiatives could also be identified and implemented - yet whenever possible they should be developed in such a way as to connect to the values and support them. In this manner, the refurbishment will be provided with a strong sense of continuity and focus, and the brand of the change process will grow more and more defined and compelling.

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LOCAL IDENTITY

DIVERSITY

SUSTAIN ABILITY

&

COMMUNITY SPIRIT

FUTURE LIFESTYLE

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RECODE PART 2

ADOPT AN EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT STYLE It is recommended that all the actors in the change process, including Chronos and Etikstudio on the one hand as well as the Hausverwaltung and the Hausmeister+ on the other hand (as will be discussed in more detail in section 5 of this guide), should embrace an enhanced approach to the neighbourhood consisting of three essential elements:

RESPECT ….. is about respecting the current strengths of the neighbourhood and viewing the tenant population as a valuable asset.

ALLOW

RESPECT

….. is about channeling volunteerism, acknowledging that tenants have a desire to implement improvements and supporting them in doing so.

IGNITE ….. is about launching novel initiatives and schemes to inspire tenants and kickstart various parts of the change process. Reference to this three-pronged approach of Respect, Allow and Ignite is made throughout this guide and is a key factor to ensuring that the various recommendations that are proposed are successfully implemented. © clear-village.org 2011

IGNITE

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ALLOW 29


well integrated insufficiently integrated (Germans & immigrants)

TENANTS STRATEGY

anti-social

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new tenants

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anonymous


PART 2 RECODE

FACE UP TO THE CHALLENGES

Yet the high turnover in Gaarden-Ost is a positive point in this respect. Simply put, the goal over time is to rely on turnover to reduce the number of antisocial tenants and to replace them with more desirable new tenants. A key point in this respect, which is discussed in more detail in section 7, is that Chronos should no longer market its properties on ‘low price’ (which is a negative marketing message) but should instead implement a positive brand which will appeal to newly targeted audiences. In addition, Chronos could also consider implementing a system of evaluating tenant prospects by parameters other than the ability to pay the rent.

And finally, it is important to acknowledge the existing challenges to the neighbourhood identity and to work towards tackling them over time. In section 5, improvements to service standards are made which will help to address the issue of antisocial behaviour to a certain extent. Yet a more fundamental point is the fact that Chronos should aim to stop attracting difficult tenants that will damage the neighbourhood fabric. Broadly speaking, tenants can be viewed in five categories, the first one being new and/or desired tenants and the others groups comprised of: + Well-integrated tenants are the cornerstone of the community. It is they who are most likely to engage with the overall change process and to be willing to work hand in hand with Chronos to implement improvements in the neighbourhood. + Insufficiently integrated tenants are not antisocial but are separated from well-integrated tenants by barriers such as culture or language. The goal over time is to transition at least some of them to the well-integrated group by actively reaching out to them and providing more opportunities for neighbourhood interaction.

It is of course clear that the issue of difficult tenants cannot be solved in the short term. Yet by taking a two-pronged approach - on the one hand initiating steps to reduce the number of difficult tenants moving in and on the other hand supporting the positive elements of the neighbourhood- tenants will be given a signal of change and a sense that the damaged make-up of the community is on the way to being restored.

+ Anonymous tenants neither improve nor harm the neighbourhood. They go about their own business and should be allowed to keep doing so. + Antisocial tenants are of course the primary issue.

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3. REFURB ISHING APARTMENTS

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RECODE PART 3

MOVING BEYOND 'OK' In the course of the Well-Being Analysis, it was found that many tenants were dissatisfied with their apartments. Even those who were not overly critical showed little enthusiasm on the topic. In fact, the most ‘positive’ word that was heard time and again was ‘ok’.

“MY FLAT IS OK.” “THE FLATS ARE OK, BUT THERE’S NOT MUCH THERE.” “MY FLAT IS OK, BUT THERE ARE THINGS THAT NEED FIXING.” “THE FLATS AREN’T PARTICULARLY NICE BUT THEY’RE OK.”

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One of the goals of the overall change process in Gaarden-Ost is gradually to move the neighbourhood beyond the word ‘ok’, which is far removed from a feeling of satisfaction and is more indicative of a sense of resignation. The same applies to the refurbishment of the 9 vacant Chronos apartments in Gaarden-Ost. Here, too, the goal is to provide tenants with an offering that goes beyond the limiting consciousness of ‘ok’ and that appeals in various more aspirational respects, not only on low price.

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Achieving this goal will lead to a number of desirable outcomes. + Tenants who value their apartments for other reasons than affordability will be more satisfied and more likely to show lower turnover. + By removing low price as the primary positive point of its offering, Chronos will be better placed to ask for higher rents. And + by being able to market its apartments on other aspects than affordability only, Chronos will be able to attract new types of tenants to the neighbourhood, which is an essential step to repairing the neighbourhood fabric as discussed in the previous section.


"THE FLATS ARE OK, BUT THERE'S NOT MUCH THERE." A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE

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RECODE PART 3

THE MARKET SITUATION In order to determine what tenants could be attracted to the vacant Chronos apartments and how the apartments would need to be refurbished to appeal to them, it is worthwhile to examine the situation, trends and opportunities in the property market of Kiel in general and Gaarden-Ost in particular. This analysis is based on the following sources: + GEWOS’s 2007 ‘Kieler Wohnungsmarktkonzept’ (‘Kiel Housing Market Overview‘); + the accompanying report ‘Vertiefungsuntersuchung für das Soziale Stadt- Gebiet Gaarden-Ost‘ (’Detailed Study of the Social City Area Gaarden-Ost’); +

and the current ‘Integriertes Stadtentwicklungsskonzept Kiel‘ (‘Integrated Urban Development Plan Kiel’) developed by the City Planning Office Kiel.

POPULATION & HOUSEHOLD STRUCTURE Kiel. The city is expected to see a light increase in population, going up to about 240,000 by 2020 after which there will be a slight decline. The total number of households will rise at a faster rate on account of the decrease in household size. By 2020, it is expected that 1- and 2-person households will comprise 80% of the total number of households. Also worth pointing out is the fact that Kiel has a large student population of approximately 30,000 in total, with 25,000 of those at Kiel University and 5,000 at the Fachhochschule. Gaarden-Ost. The neighbourhood is expected to experience a population decrease of 3% by 2020. But despite this, there will be an increase in the number of 1- and 2-person households on account of the decrease in household size. Though GaardenOst already has a high level of small households (average size: 1.6), it will grow by 8% by 2020. The conclusions that may be drawn from this are: + Demographic trends indicate a good long-term demand for smaller apartments, such as those that Chronos offers in Gaarden-Ost.

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+ Students are a potential target group. Though Gaarden-Ost is perhaps too far from the University, which is in the northwest of Kiel, it is close to the Fachhochschule and could be an attractive location for students.

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HOUSING MARKET & DEMAND

The conclusions that may be drawn from this are:

Kiel. Half of the total number of dwellings were built between 1950-1980 and many are in need of modernisation. The largest number of flats (65% of the total) are in the 2- and 3-room category, whilst 1-room flats only make up 12%. In 2005 there was an oversupply of 4,600 houses, but around 2012 this oversupply is expected to turn into an excess demand. This excess demand, which is primarily due to the increase in the total number of households cited above, is expected to grow until at least 2020.

+ In view of Gaarden-Ost’s negative status, the challenges of attracting new tenants should not be underestimated. Though the municipality has launched initiatives such as the Image project, it will undoubtedly take time before the image and attractiveness of Gaarden-Ost as a whole can be improved.

Gaarden-Ost. Gaarden-Ost has a high percentage of dwellings between 40-60 m² in line with the high percentage of small households mentioned above. Though some of the data provided thus far would appear encouraging for Gaarden-Ost (an excess demand in Kiel combined with a need for smaller apartments which are plentiful in the neighbourhood), it must be stressed that GaardenOst has a negative status on the housing market. The area is unpopular and has extremely high turnover, even among students. To elaborate on this point: Gaarden-Ost currently has vacancy rates of 2.9% compared to 1.7% for Kiel. People who are attracted to the area from outside normally do not stay long, suggesting that their experience of living in Gaarden-Ost is not positive. In the course of GEWOS’s ‘Vertiefungsanalyse’ mentioned previously, half of the people who were interviewed in Gaarden-Ost said that they were planning to move, and 90% of those said they wanted to move away from the neighbourhood.

+ Given the above, it is all the more essential to think of ways to enhance Chronos’ offering to potential new tenants. To cite an interesting example that was found by GEWOS’s ‘Vertiefungsanalyse’: most people (and especially immigrants) in Gaarden-Ost would like to have larger/open kitchens. + Yet the numbers cited above also allow for a more positive interpretation. Out of all the GaardenOst residents who wanted to move, 10% did not necessarily want to leave Gaarden-Ost. Though this is of course a low percentage, it still amounts to 5% of all households in Gaarden-Ost. Viewed from this perspective, this group of households who would like to move and are willing to stay in Gaarden-Ost also constitutes a target audience of potential new tenants for Chronos.

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RECODE PART 3

PRICES & AFFORDABILITY

The conclusions that may be drawn from this are:

Kiel. House prices on the Kiel market have been declining since the 2000s, both on the owneroccupied and rental market. On the other hand, when comparing supply and demand for affordable housing (which is the price range for the Chronos apartments), it is seen that supply is scarce and that there is an excess demand of over 30%. This demand is concentrated in 1-person households (which make up 62% of the total demand for affordable housing) and 2-person households (which make up 25%).

+ The excess demand in the affordable housing range, both in Kiel and in Gaarden-Ost, is a positive factor for Chronos.

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Gaarden-Ost. 62% of the housing stock in GaardenOst is affordable housing, which is much above the Kiel average of 37%. However, 75% of households in Gaarden-Ost are in the affordable housing income category, as a result of which there is excess demand. The average per-square-metre net rental price in Gaarden-Ost is € 5.10, which is not significantly lower than the average price in other parts of Kiel.

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+ Given that Chronos’s current rental prices in Gaarden-Ost are approximately one Euro below the average Gaarden-Ost level, there is certainly scope to aim for higher rents. + Yet given that Gaarden-Ost prices are not significantly lower than elsewhere in Kiel, it is all the more important to compete on the quality of apartments and other factors.


IT IS IMPORTANT TO NOT ONLY COMPETE ON PRICE

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RECODE PART 3

POTENTIAL NEW TENANT GROUPS

In identifying potential new tenant groups that could be attracted to the vacant apartments, several general points can be made based on the previous analysis: + Potential groups are likely to be those with smaller budgets. + Therefore those with middle & higher income are not in the primary target group. + Demand is likely to be strongest among small households, who already face excess demand on the market and whose numbers are increasing.

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Delving more deeply, a range of typologies may be applied for tenant groups that are (1) likely to be attracted, (2) less likely to be attracted, and (3) optional, meaning that there are arguments both for and against viewing them as a target group. The typologies can be summed up for each category as follows:

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LIKELY TO BE ATTRACTED: + INDIVIDUALS (Typology I) One-person households especially between the ages of 18-40: + Moving out of parents’ home or shared accommodation + Working or starting to work soon after graduation + Already a large group in Gaarden-Ost Demand is typically for: + Studio (min 25m2) or 2-room apartment (bedroom min 10m2 and living room 15m2) + Private parking space would be an asset + Some facilities, like a laundry room, could be shared


+ STUDENTS (Typology S)

+ YOUNGER COUPLES (Typology C)

Students looking for shared accommodation:

Couples especially in the younger age group:

+ Living dormitory style (Studentenwerk Schlesweg- Holstein) or in private rent + Central location or proximity to university is important + Combine with other students, not with other groups + One of the target groups in need of accommodation identified in GEWOS report

+ Moving together from parents’ home or individual apartments + Possibly both employed so double income + Probably long-term residents of Kiel and likely to stay + May have ties already to Gaarden-Ost (e.g. 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants) + Also student couples in the final stages of their studies

Demand is typically for: + + + +

Individual room minimum 12m2 Shared living room/kitchen Bathroom, preferably separate toilet Ideally not 5 or more people in one group: 2-4 is optimal

Demand is typically for: + 2- or 3-room apartment + Large double bedroom (approx 14m2) + Reasonably large living room (20m2) with space for seating area and dinner table + Decent quality important; should really feel like a home

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RECODE PART 3

LESS LIKELY TO BE ATTRACTED + COUPLES (TYPOLOGY L & C)

+ BEST AGERS (TYPOLOGY G & L)

Couples above 30 without children are not a main target group:

Couples with children that have just moved out are also not a main target group:

+ They are typically economically advantaged, compared to couples with children, as they are likely to have two incomes disposable + Can only be attracted with special features like space, views, architectonic features + Could in principle be attracted by proximity to city centre + They might be looking for “something different” and be attracted by diversity and the desire to be “first movers” + But perhaps too much competition from apartments in better areas of Kiel

+ + + + +

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Demand is typically for: + + + + +

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Spacious living room/kitchen Spacious bedroom In-house storage space Preferably private outdoor space Private parking space near apartment

Demands similarly high as older couple typology described above Could save money for other activities by seeking cheaper housing But unlikely in practice because savings are already made by children becoming financially independent Balcony, terrace or direct access to garden appreciated 1 room potentially to be used as study or children’s room


OPTIONAL + FAMILIES (TYPOLOGY F)

+ ELDERLY (TYPOLOGY G)

Families with small income are an optional target group:

Elderly people (65+) are another optional target group:

+ + + + +

+ + + +

Families that are living small already Moving within Gaarden-Ost or from comparable areas Chronos apartments being in line with ALG2 criteria could be a plus FOR: families would help the social composition of the neighbourhood AGAINST: current floorplans not in line with family needs

Underrepresented in Gaarden-Ost today and a group for whom the city would like to see appropriate housing being offered Moving within Gaarden-Ost or from comparable area FOR: potentially attracted to green & quiet environment and nearby facilities AGAINST: well represented in properties already, so little impact on social fabric

Demand is typically for:

Demand is typically for:

+ + + +

+ Threshold free flats as far as possible + Decent-size bedroom, preferably with ensuite bathroom + Sufficient storage stage, preferably within apartment + Small hobby space or second bedroom for grandchildren + Ideally a lift

Minimum 3-room apartment Separate toilet and large bedroom (ideally with second toilet) Living room min 20-25 m² Preferably balcony or direct access to garden

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RECODE PART 3

ATTRACTING NEW TENANTS Having identified potential tenant groups, the next question is how the apartments should be refurbished to appeal to them. Before providing recommendations on this topic, however, it is worthwhile to draw attention to several other points related to attracting tenants.

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD IMAGE The analysis provided so far has focused on the micro-level of the vacant apartments on the one hand and the macro-level of Kiel and GaardenOst on the other. Yet the space in the middle should also be kept in mind. This space, which is of key importance, may be termed the Chronos neighbourhood within Gaarden-Ost. As has been discussed, one of the main challenges for Chronos is the negative image of Gaarden-Ost. It goes without saying that it is beyond Chronos’s reach to improve the image of Gaarden-Ost as a whole - yet as is described in this guide, much can certainly be done to improve the image of the Chronos neighbourhood. This, in turn, will add value to the apartments.

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SERVICES AND OTHER OFFERINGS The recommendations provided in this guide aim not just to improve the image of the Chronos neighbourhood but to do this through the enhancement of tenant well-being, not only for current tenants but also for new tenants. By improving tenants’ day-to-day lives in the neighbourhood - for instance by dealing with the problem of rubbish (section 4), ensuring higher service levels (section 5) and igniting the community by means of novel initiatives (section 6) - Chronos will enhance the value of the vacant apartments in as concrete a fashion as by means of physical refurbishment such as improving the plumbing.

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APARTMENT & NEIGHBOURHOOD REFURBISHMENT The fact is that the two refurbishments - of the apartments and the overall neighbourhood - should be viewed as two components of the same change process which mutually support each other. The neighbourhood refurbishment will improve the image and day-to-day reality of the area and therefore add value to the apartments for new tenants - whilst new tenants who bring with them higher expectations and aspirations will help the neighbourhood to restore its damaged social fabric and move beyond the limiting consciousness of ‘ok’. One final point needs to be made in this respect: just as it was argued in section 2 that the overall refurbishment should build on the neighbourhood values, so the apartment refurbishment should support the same values: anchoring Local Identity by providing people with an attractive home base, bolstering diversity by catering for different tenants with different lifestyles; and supporting sustainability by incorporating sustainable solutions in the apartment refurbishment wherever possible. In conclusion: it is clear that attracting new tenants depends not only on the apartments themselves, but also on a variety of other factors that Chronos can incorporate into its marketing strategy. Having emphasised this essential point, attention will now be focused on the apartments and on how they can be refurbished to appeal to new tenants.


Intensive refurbisment of the apartments can improve both functionality and spatiality of the apartments, leading to the attraction of new tenant groups with higher aspirations.

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RECODE PART 3

BASIC INTERVENTIONS In order to minimise costs, Chronos could pursue a strategy of only undertaking basic interventions in the buildings. Beyond solving nuisances such as drafts and doors not closing properly, this could include improvements in appearance such as painting walls and providing new tiling and floors, both within the apartments and in the communal spaces. In addition, a basic intervention strategy could incorporate several other elements such as (a) simple design interventions like those in Eindhoven and Sheffield featured in the following; (b) a creative re-use of basements and attics as is also discussed in section 4; and

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(c) introducing extra services such as broadband internet, new energy meters, low-energy appliances and video-intercoms for the entrances. In all cases, the investment would be low, yet would have a significant impact on the overall attractiveness of the apartments.

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CASE STUDY PART 3

RECODE

DE REMBRANDT, EINDHOVEN, THE NETHERLANDS Creatively transforming small aspects of a building’s appearance can substantially enhance their identity and appeal. At De Rembrandt a postbox design competition was organised for design students in Eindhoven.

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CASE STUDY RECODE PART 3

DECENT HOMES PROGRAMME, UK

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At the beginning of the 2000s the UK government developed a decent homes standard for council and private sector housing. The goal was to bring housing up to a minimum level of comfort. 4 criteria were set: + housing must meet the current statutory minimum standard + housing must be in a reasonable state of repair + housing must have reasonably modern facilities and services + housing must provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort

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Local councils and housing associations took the initiative to bring their homes to these new standards. Improvements included measures like preventing mould and damp growth, replacing technical installations, rewiring of electrics, and improving thermal insulation. At times these measures needed to be combined with larger interventions such as the replacement of kitchens and bathrooms to meet the decent homes standards. Although it is difficult to correlate tenant satisfaction directly with the decent homes programme, most social landlords reported that tenant satisfaction appeared to have increased after measures had been implemented. Overall it was concluded that the programme had contributed to a better relationship between landlords and tenants, particularly as a result of the intense communication that had been necessary to coordinate the programme.


CASE STUDY PART 3

PARK HILL ESTATE, SHEFFIELD, UK Sheffield’s Park Hill estate used to be a classic example of 60s mass council housing locked up in a circle of decline. But with the help of developers Urban Splash, the buildings were refurbished and a new branding strategy was developed. The goal was to put the estate back on the list of desirable housing in Sheffield.

RECODE

Given that the buildings were prominently situated on top of a hill overlooking Sheffield and thus visible from afar, it was crucial to improve their appearance. One of the key interventions in this respect lay in the choice of materials; drablooking brick panels were replaced with colourful aluminium panels. Other measures included replacing the window frames with new ones that would let more light into the homes. Ultimately, the interventions resulted in a new attractive appearance that significantly boosted the image of the estate.

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RECODE PART 3

MEDIUM INTERVENTIONS The basic intervention approach would already make a substantial difference to the overall attractiveness of the vacant apartments. However, in order to truly meet the desires and demands of some of the tenant groups that have been previously identified, medium interventions should be considered. Recommended interventions are the following: + Provide a diversity of floorplans to appeal to different tenant groups and enhance the overall diversity of the neighbourhood. + Improve the floorplans to enhance the overall spatiality of the apartments. + Reorganise the bathrooms and the kitchens around existing pipes. The main features of the new kitchens and bathrooms would be:

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+ + + + + +

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Open kitchen, which appeals to many as identified by GEWOS. Modern appearance Modern bath and shower Separate toilet where possible More surface space in the kitchen Sufficient space for domestic appliances or a breakfast lounge area


Reorganising kitchens and bathrooms around the existing pipes will increase the functionality and spatiality of the apartments.

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RECODE PART 3

Applied to the different typologies identified before, the recommended floorplans for different tenant groups would be as follows:

THE FLOORPLAN FOR TYPOLOGY I

(Individuals) as described previously builds on the existing division of space, but improves the overall spatiality of the apartments and rearranges the kitchen, bathroom and toilet around the existing pipes. This helps to:

TYPE I

+ Provide more light in the kitchen + Provide a separate toilet + Create more wall space in the living room, for example for a cupboard or TV set

TYPOLOGY 1 & 2 (Garden) is an enhancement of

Š clear-village.org 2011

the ground floor flats by providing them with direct access to the garden. This typology would suit young couples, elderly people, and also small families for whom garden access is a significant asset.

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TYPE C

TYPE G1

THE FLOORPLAN FOR TYPOLOGY C (Couples) as described previously offers 3-room rather than 2-room apartments, also with significantly improved overall spatiality. The rearrangement of the kitchen, bathroom and toilets is in line with that for typology I.

TYPE G2

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RECODE PART 3

LARGER INTERVENTIONS

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Larger interventions would be aimed at attracting the previously identified typologies S (Student) and F (families), as well as at turning the attic into a living space. These interventions would require more structural changes to the current apartments and would therefore be more costly than the medium interventions described before.

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By reorganising entire floors it is possible to accommodate larger households, for example a group of students.

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RECODE PART 3

TYPOLOGY S (Students) provides shared

accommodation on a single floor specifically for students, though it could also apply to other forms of group living.

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+ + + +

Five bedrooms are provided The large living room and open kitchen are special assets Separate toilet, bathroom and laundry room (or alternatively 2 bathrooms) Could also be used for others in shared accommodation: elderly, young single mothers, etc

TYPE S

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TYPE F

TYPOLOGY F (Families) is aimed specifically at families.

+ It offers 3 bedrooms arranged around a central hall + Storage space, separate toilet and bathroom with space for washing machine + In combination with 2-room apartment on a floor + On ground floor F apartments have direct access to garden.

TYPOLOGY L (Loft) suits individuals, couples as well as elderly without mobility problems.

TYPE L

+ + + + +

Top floor only Builds on the architectonic quality of the roof construction by removing the attic floor. Attractive high spaces are thus created Open floor plan as far as construction allows Open kitchen and living room 1 bedroom

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RECODE PART 3

NEXT STEPS Of key importance for Chronos is to determine what degree of interventions it would like to undertake. Whilst simple interventions are of course attractive in that they keep costs low and are faster and easier to undertake, there is little doubt that the medium and larger interventions described in this guide would both (1) add significantly more value to the apartments and (2) support the overall neighbourhood refurbishment more effectively by attracting new tenants with higher levels of expectation and aspiration. Based on Chronos’s choice of the degree of intervention on the one hand and the exact tenant groups that it would like to attract on the other hand, the recommendations in this section can then be built upon and exact costs can be scoped. Before concluding, one final point should be made. Whilst refurbishing the vacant apartments is of course important, it should not be forgotten that Chronos’s other properties in Gaarden-Ost are also in need of refurbishment. Tenants interviewed during the Well-Being Analysis expressed a number of complaints which went beyond simple everyday repairs (discussed in section 5) and indicate the need for larger interventions:

“THE HEATING IS TERRIBLE. IT’S ALWAYS COLD IN WINTER BECAUSE THE HEATERS ARE OLD.” “THERE’S RAIN COMING DOWN THROUGH THE ROOF. THE CONDITION IS APPALLING.” “WE NEED NEW METERS.” “THE DOORS ARE COMPLETELY BROKEN. THE THRESHOLD IS BROKEN; YOU TEND TO FALL INTO THE FLAT. MY NEIGHBOUR AND I HAVE BOTH FALLEN ALREADY.” “I THINK THE METERS NEED TO BE CHANGED. I’VE HAD THEM FOR 36 YEARS ALREADY.” “THE FLATS ARE OK BUT THE INFRASTRUCTURE IS REALLY OLD.” “THE FLATS ARE IN A REALLY BAD STATE. THERE’S MOLD, EVERYTHING IS OLD, AND NOTHING IS BEING DONE ABOUT IT.” “THE ELECTRICITY AND WATER SYSTEMS ARE MUCH TOO OLD.”

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In order to avoid any such complaints in the future, it would be extremely valuable to develop and implement a gradual refurbishment plan for the other Chronos properties in Gaarden-Ost.

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“WHEN THEY FIXED UP THE OTHER BUILDINGS 15 YEARS AGO THEY FORGOT ABOUT US.” A RESIDENT OF AUGUSTENSTRAßE ON THE BUILDING STOCK

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PART 4: IMPROVING COMMUNAL SPACES

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THE VALUE OF COMMUNAL SPACES Good communal spaces are an essential component to building neighbourhood identity. Outdoor public spaces in particular (a very broad categorisation which includes such disparate spaces as high streets, street markets, shopping precincts, parks, playgrounds, as well as neighbourhood spaces in residential areas) play a vital role in the social life of communities. As described by Mean and Tims in ‘People Make Places’* , they act as a “self-organising public service”; just as hospitals and schools provide a shared resource to improve people’s quality of life, so public spaces form a shared spatial resource from which experiences and value are created in ways that are not possible in people’s private lives alone.

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As argued by Worpole and Knox in ‘The Social Value of Public Spaces’* , public spaces offer many benefits: the ‘feel-good’ buzz from being part of a social scene; the therapeutic benefits of quiet time spent on a bench; opportunities for social interaction, mixing and inclusion as well as for creating awareness of diversity and difference; and opportunities for children and young people to meet, play or simply ‘hang out’. All of these have important benefits and help to create local attachments, which are at the heart of a sense of community.

+ Mean & Tims, ‘People Make Places’, London: Demos/ Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2005 + Warpole & Knox, ‘The Social Value of Public Spaces’, York: Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2007

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When public spaces are inadequate and people are compelled to conduct most of their activities in private spaces, this leads to a number of undesired consequences: + No communication + Isolation + Fear of each other + No moral transfer + No inherent community regulation + A disintegrated community + And in addition, private spaces may suffer from being cramped, being loud and setting limitations on children.


This is of course not the desired condition for Gaarden-Ost. The aim instead is to draw people out of their flats and have more active public spaces, leading to: + Conversations and activities + Opportunities to mingle and meet + Opportunities to appreciate diversity & difference + Moral transfer and maintenance + Self-organised community regulation + A cohesive community + And finally, expanded living spaces which enable people to engage in the sort of activities as visualised:

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RECODE PART 4

THE TENANT PERSPECTIVE OF COMMUNAL SPACES Yet as the Well-Being Analysis revealed, the current situation in Gaarden-Ost with respect to communal spaces is closer to the first condition described above than the second. Tenants who were interviewed by Clear Village expressed a variety of complaints, both relating to outdoor spaces and to indoor communal areas. These complaints, which indicate the most pressing areas in need of improvement, can be categorised as follows:

Very similar complaints were made about the condition of the basements.

INDOOR SPACES

“ONE OF THE NEIGHBOURS HAS PILED THE STORAGE ROOM IN THE BASEMENT FULL OF RUBBISH. THERE SHOULD BE A SIGN SAYING THAT THE ROOM IS ONLY FOR BIKES, PRAMS AND WALKERS.”

Many tenants were extremely dissatisfied with the condition of the attics.

“THE ATTIC IS FULL OF STUFF LEFT BEHIND BY PEOPLE WHO MOVED OUT.” “THERE ARE PIGEONS IN THE ATTIC. IT’S A MIRACLE THAT NO ONE HAS BEEN INFECTED.” “THE PIGEONS IN THE ATTIC ARE A REAL NUISANCE AND A HEALTH HAZARD.”

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“THE NEIGHBOUR HAS SET UP A KIND OF OFFICE IN THE ATTIC AND MAKES NOISE AT NIGHT.” “THERE’S SO MUCH BULKY WASTE UP IN THE ATTIC; IT SHOULD IN FACT BE USED AS A DRYING ROOM.” “THE ATTICS ARE JUST TERRIBLE; WINDOWS ARE BROKEN AND THERE ARE LOTS OF PIGEONS MAKING AN UNHEALTHY MESS.”

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“THE BASEMENTS ARE FILLED WITH RUBBISH AND NO ONE FEELS RESPONSIBLE.” “THE BASEMENTS ARE FULL OF JUNK, OFTEN FROM PREVIOUS TENANTS. THEY NEED TO BE EMPTIED OUT.”

“THE BASEMENTS ARE AWFUL. A LOT OF THE TIME PEOPLE WHO MOVE OUT JUST LEAVE THEIR BASEMENTS FULL OF JUNK.” “I’M WORRIED ABOUT THE STUFFED BASEMENTS, ABOUT THE FIRE HAZARD. THEY REALLY HAVE TO BE TIDIED UP, YOU CAN’T PUT ANYTHING IN THERE ANYMORE.” “THE BASEMENTS ARE FILTHY AND FULL OF RUBBISH WHICH HAS JUST BEEN LEFT THERE BY SOME PEOPLE. THEY REALLY NEED TO BE SORTED OUT AT SOME POINT. ON TOP OF THAT THERE’S NO ELECTRICITY THERE; SOMETHING SHOULD ALSO BE DONE ABOUT THAT.”


“THE BASEMENTS ARE FILLED WITH RUBBISH AND NO ONE FEELS RESPONSIBLE.” A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE

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RECODE PART 4

And finally, tenants were also frustrated about what they perceived as a general state of neglect of the staircases and other aspects of the buildings.

“THE STAIRCASES ARE DIRTY. I’M THE ONLY PERSON WHO CLEANS THEM.” “THE STAIRCASES NEED TO BE PAINTED.” “SOME OF THE STEPS ARE BROKEN SO THAT IT’S DANGEROUS TO USE THE STAIRS.” “SOME OF THE POSTBOXES HAVE BEEN BROKEN OPEN WHICH DOESN’T LOOK GOOD.” “THE SMOKE ALARMS ARE ALL FALLING DOWN.” “THE BUILDINGS ARE OLD AND THEY LOOK IT.” “THE STAIRCASES AND FACADES NEED RENOVATING.”

OUTDOOR SPACES As with the situation in the attics and basements, tenants were particularly concerned about the problem of rubbish in outdoor spaces.

“THERE’S TOO MUCH RUBBISH LYING AROUND.” “RUBBISH IS A HUGE PROBLEM.” “PLEASE TIDY UP; EVERYTHING IS FULL OF RUBBISH HERE.” In fact, this issue can be broken down into three separate ones. First of all, it was felt that the bin areas were inadequate and in need of improvement.

“THE FLAGSTONES FOR THE BIN AREAS SHOULD BE URGENTLY ENLARGED SO THAT THERE IS SPACE FOR ALL THE BINS.” “SOMETHING SHOULD BE DONE ABOUT THE FLAGSTONES OF THE BIN AREAS; THEY’RE MUCH TOO SMALL.”

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“IN THE PAST WE HAD ONE BIN WHICH WAS BUILT-IN AND FIXED. NOW THERE ARE BINS EVERYWHERE, IN FRONT OF THE ENTRANCES AND IN THE GREEN SPACES.”

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“THE WASTE SEPARATION DOESN’T WORK HERE. MAYBE SIGNS SHOULD BE PUT UP IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES.” A RESIDENT OF AUGUSTENSTRAßE

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RECODE PART 4

Even more pressingly, tenants complained about inadequate waste separation. Since many people didn’t separate their waste and either put it in the wrong bin or simply dumped it in the bin area, the rubbish was often not collected and left to stand around.

“THE BINS ARE ALWAYS FULL. THERE ARE LOTS OF RATS BECAUSE THERE’S TOO MUCH RUBBISH.” “WASTE SEPARATION DOESN’T WORK AT ALL. THE BIN AREA ALWAYS LOOKS MESSY.” “THE RUBBISH SITUATION IS EXTREMELY UNPLEASANT, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE BINS ARE INCORRECTLY FILLED AND NOT COLLECTED.”

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“THE FOREIGNERS KEEP PUTTING THEIR RUBBISH NEXT TO THE BIN INSTEAD OF OPENING THE LID AND THROWING IT IN. I’M WORRIED ABOUT RATS AND THE STENCH.” “THERE SHOULD BE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO SEPARATE RUBBISH- IT DOESN’T LIE AROUND BECAUSE OF ILL WILL BUT BECAUSE OF IGNORANCE. THAT’S WHY ONE BIN HASN’T BEEN COLLECTED FOR 14 DAYS.”

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And finally, tenants complained about the problem of bulky waste, with people simply leaving it in public spaces instead of arranging to have it collected.

“THE BULKY WASTE SYSTEM DOESN’T WORK.” “THE WORST THING OF ALL IS BULKY WASTE. MANY PEOPLE DON’T SEEM TO BE AWARE OF BULKY WASTE REMOVAL BY THE CITY; OTHERWISE THEY WOULD ALSO USE IT MORE.”


“THE BULKY WASTE SITUATION IS INTOLERABLE.” A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE

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“THERE’S NOTHING VERY COMPLEX ABOUT IT; THE GRASS NEEDS TO BE MOWED & THE HEDGES NEED TO BE MAINTAINED.” A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE


PART 4 RECODE

Besides the problem of rubbish, which was undoubtedly the most emotive topic for tenants, the green spaces were also identified as a problem. Though they were considered an appealing feature in principle, tenants complained about the state of neglect.

“THE HEDGES AND BUSHES IN FRONT OF THE BUILDINGS ARE GROWING WILD.” “IN PRINCIPLE THE GREEN SPACES ARE PLEASANT, BUT THEY’RE BADLY KEPT.” “WHAT WE NEED IS SIMPLE. THINGS SHOULD BE CLEAN AND HUMAN SO THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ASHAMED WHEN PEOPLE VISIT.”

And partly as a result of these various factors, the public space was perceived as an area that was not safe and tended to be appropriated for unhealthy rather than healthy use.

“IN THE EVENING YOU CAN’T SEE IF SOMEONE IS HIDING BEHIND THE HEDGES.” “THERE’S A LOT OF DRUG DEALING GOING ON HERE.” “THE SEATING AREAS TEND TO TURN INTO AREAS FOR BUMS.”

This state of neglect was also perceived in other areas, leading to an overall impression that the public space was ill maintained and uninviting.

“MANY OF THE PAVING STONES ARE BROKEN AND YOU SLIP ON THEM WHEN IT’S WET.” “THERE’S NOT ENOUGH LIGHTING IN THE EVENING.” “THERE ARE NO STREET LIGHTS AROUND AND THE LIGHTS BY THE ENTRANCES ARE USUALLY BROKEN.”

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RECODE PART 4

EVALUATION OF COMMUNAL SPACES Though tenants are clearly dissatisfied with the general state of communal spaces, several additional points should be made to counterbalance this. Quantity. There is certainly not a lack of communal spaces, neither indoors nor outdoors. There is sufficient space for everyone. Desire for change. Tenants are not resigned and showed interest in taking ownership of communal spaces, which is a valuable asset in the overall change process. Initial appropriation of spaces. There is already a certain degree of communal usage of outdoor spaces despite the fact that they are ill maintained and uninviting. The pivotal point is to develop an outdoor communal space strategy in collaboration with the tenants in order to allow initiatives and encourage ownership and thereby channel volunteerism and focus investment.

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To elaborate on the third point: in the course of the Well-Being Analysis and in addition to collecting tenant feedback, usage of outside spaces was also gauged.

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The diagram opposite illustrates the favourite routes taken by residents (orange) as well as nonresidents (pink) to walk within or pass through the neighbourhood. The second diagram shows so-called evolved meeting places within the space, consisting both of the community crossing paths with others and of internal meeting places. Examining these evolved meeting places, it is found that they are all facilitated by public furniture and sheltered from public observation, leading to the conclusion that by creating and facilitating more such spaces, the initial appropriation of public space will be supported and strengthened. This point will be returned to later in this section.


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RECODE PART 4

EMBARKING ON THE IMPROVEMENT PROCESS The feedback received from tenants shows up a host of areas in need of improvement. It goes without saying that it is not realistic to attempt to tackle all of these in one go. The refurbishment is a process and should be viewed as such, and improvements should be made incrementally. In line with the approach of only doing a few things but doing them well, it is therefore recommended to focus initially on the two issues considered most pressing by tenants: firstly, the problem of rubbish; and secondly, the attics and the basements.

INITIATIVE ONE: THE BIG TIDY OUTSIDE The Big Tidy outside is in part a redesign issue and in part a “future lifestyle” initiative, an effort to reach out to tenants in order to explain and encourage desirable behaviours. It can be broken down into the following steps:

© clear-village.org 2011

+ Redesign the bin areas. The neighbourhood originally had built-in stone bins that offered easy access for collection and were placed away from the entrances to the buildings. This effective system is outdated now that standards for waste and recycling are different and several bins are required. However, the redesigned bin areas should reconnect to the original design and provide the same benefits. + Develop an information brochure. Since many tenants need to be educated on how to separate waste and deal with bulky waste, an information brochure should be developed for them. The ABK (Abfallwirtschaftsbetrieb Kiel) provides comprehensive information and downloadable brochures on its website www.abki.de. However, for

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the sake of simplicity, it is recommended to develop a simple and highly visual brochure specifically for Gaarden-Ost. In addition, it would be valuable to brand the brochure in accordance with the recommendations in section 7 of this guide to lend support to the communications strategy. + Provide information in different languages. Since many non-German tenants are particularly in need of education on how to separate waste and deal with bulky waste, it is essential that information brochures are not only provided in German but also in other languages (such as Turkish, Polish, Arabic and Russian). At present the ABK does not provide information in other languages and for that reason other options need to be considered. One possibility would be to recruit non-German tenants to translate the brochures - another way would be to opt for professional translators. When weighing the translation options, it is important to recall the goal of the exercise. The advantage of the former approach is that it will engage and rally the community around solving a problem that everyone shares. People will have an opportunity to meet, exchange knowledge and develop an understanding of the challenges faced by others. Though it might be advisable to cross-check with a professional translator, leaving the whole translation effort to “an outsider” runs the risk of not solving the actual problem as well as increasing the sense of alienation.


RESPECT

IGNITE

FUTURE LIFESTYLE

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+ Connected to the previous point, a Q & A about recycling and waste separation can be arranged, possibly with attendance by a sanitation officer to clarify. Consequently, a re-labelling of the bins in a clear and highly visual way can take place in line with the visuals in the brochures. Not only will this simplify the overall information package for tenants; it will also be an attractive and empowering instance of design in action to solve everyday problems and send out a signal that change is afoot in the neighbourhood.

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+ Re-engage with the community when everything is in place to assess. Inform those who were not part of the process of what has been done, ask everyone whether they are happy with the changes, verify that key language needs are met, and scope out and address any uncertainties and challenges. As a result of this engagement effort, the initiative is more likely to be perceived not as an ad hoc measure but as a well thought-out process and consequently there will be more incentive (and positive pressure) for people to buy into the process and start to deal with their waste properly. Moreover, tenants will be able to see that some of their most urgent concerns have been listened to and acted upon.

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+ As an additional option, compost bins could also be put in place to provide nutritious soil for gardening activities that could take place next year. Though extremely simple, the Big Tidy will result in a compelling story for Chronos. Especially in the German context, where waste separation is a part of everyday identity and not adhering to it means to stigmatise and exclude oneself, Chronos’ outreach to tenants in their own language in order to build their eco-literacy is a powerful instance of a landlord striving to enhance a neighbourhood whilst respecting its diversity.


INITIATIVE TWO: THE BIG TIDY INSIDE The second initiative would be a powerful follow-up to the first one, creating a sense for tenants of an overall clean-up of both indoor and outdoor spaces in the neighbourhood. In fact, if Chronos decides to implement both, then the second initiative could already be pitched to tenants during the engagement campaign for the first. The steps of the Big Tidy inside can be outlined as follows: + Work with the tenants in each building to identify undesired bulky waste in the attics and basements. This could be waste both from current tenants and probably more substantially, waste left behind by previous tenants.

would be to use the basements for storage and the attics as a drying area (‘Trockenboden’), which was probably their original purpose. However, a more creative solution would be allocate the attics for storage and to work together with tenants to determine a new communal use for the basements. Possible ideas could include bicycle parking, a laundry room, a workshop, a communal space to get together, and so on. Yet what is essential is to let tenants identify what they would like, which could be done by means of an “I wish this was” engagement exercise or micro-Lab. Thinking about the whole picture already when tidying ensures that more than one problem is solved in course of the action and that in this manner the resource investment is allowed to overlap.

+ Arrange to have bulky waste removed by the ABK. This should ideally be done together with tenants, both to encourage participation in the improvement process and to educate tenants on how to deal with bulky waste going forward. The ABK in fact offers free of charge removal of bulky waste: more precisely, each household in Kiel is entitled to have up to 20 items removed twice per year. However, depending on the amount of bulky waste that needs to be cleared, it may be necessary to arrange for a container, which the ABK offers in different sizes. Having cleared up the attics and basements, there will now be a significant amount of space that can be re-used. Two options can be considered in this respect. The simple and unadventurous solution

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Š clear-village.org 2011

As with the Big Tidy outside, the Big Tidy inside will result in a compelling story for Chronos, especially if some of the more innovative recommendations are adopted. The starting point of the initiative is apparently banal- indoor spaces that are cluttered with rubbish- yet the solution incorporates close community involvement and a clear and conscious focus on sustainability, setting a strong precedent for other initiatives that will be implemented in the course of the Gaarden-Ost change process.

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K L BU

WASTE BULKY

One final element of the initiative needs to be emphasised. In line with the value of sustainability, it is not advisable simply to throw away items of bulky waste that can be upcycled. A number of options can be considered in this respect. Firstly, items could be donated to organisations such as KIBA (Kieler Beschäftigungs- und Ausbildungsgesellschaft) which would pass them on to needy households. Secondly, they could be donated or swapped on the ABK online swapshop http://www.abki.de/ Verschenk-und-Tauschboerse.html. Or thirdly and most innovatively, a Gaarden-Ost swapshop could be established. If an adequate office is established for the Hausmeister (see section 5 for further details on this point), it could function as a hub where upcyclable items are repaired and swapped. Or alternatively, a part of the cleaned-up basements could be allocated for these activities. As with the point above, it is recommended to work closely with tenants to determine which solution to implement, partly to bolster participation in the overall change process and partly to engage people with the topic of sustainability.

TE AS W Y

RECODE PART 4


Reasons for high amount of bulky waste + high tenant fluctuation + lack of information about free removals + short sighted planning

+ regular and organised pick-ups + information on rights to free pick-up + communty tidying events like "autumn clean" or "spring clean"

lity inabi susta s & craft design caretaking FRONTSHOP

new furniture for everyone!

: ATTICS UP D E FRE ACE NAL SP U M COM

repairs knowledge transfer education enrichin g own environ com ment mun it y getmee ting to-k place now eac h ot her

The big tidy initiative is drawing positive attention to the communal spaces and filling them with healthy activities, adding them to the catalogue of active assets. Added benefits include: + stigma releases + widened scope for new tenants + community ownership & engagement + life in public & communal space + meeting places for the community

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PREPARING FOR CO-DESIGNED COMMUNAL IMPROVEMENTS As mentioned before, the two initiatives proposed here are only a point of departure for the overall upgrading of communal spaces and many other improvements will need to be made in due course. Indeed, in the course of the Well-Being Analysis it was found that this is a topic of great interest to tenants and many suggestions were made.

“AN AREA TO PARK BIKES.” “ANOTHER BENCH WOULD BE GREAT.” “A BARBECUE AREA.” “WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE A COVERED PAVILION, FOR EXAMPLE INSTEAD OF THE SANDBOX WHICH NO ONE IS INTERESTED IN.” “A SEATING AREA WOULD BE NICE, OR A BARBECUE AREA. AND DEFINITELY MORE BENCHES.” “A FLOWER MEADOW, WHICH COULD BE DIVIDED UP INTO SMALLER BEDS. THAT COULD THEN BE THE MAIN FEATURE OF THE GREEN SPACES, AND IT WOULD BE CHEAP AND EASY TO MAINTAIN.”

“MORE FLOWERS IN THE FRONT GARDENS.” “THE THING THAT’S MOST IMPORTANT IS A COVERED COMMUNAL SEATING AREA.” “WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT IS TO HAVE AT LEAST TWO MORE BENCHES. IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A SMALL TABLE TOO, TO BE ABLE TO SIT OUTSIDE WITH A CUP OF COFFEE.” “A BARBECUE AREA WOULD BE PARTICULARLY DESIRABLE, MAYBE ON THE WAY DOWN TO WERFTSTRASSE.” “A COVERED SEATING AREA SO YOU CAN SIT OUTSIDE. I’M NOT SURE ABOUT A BARBECUE AREA, THOUGH, BECAUSE OF THE STENCH.” “LETTING PEOPLE PLANT IN THE FRONT GARDENS THEMSELVES WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA. A TENANT IN KIELER STRASSE 13 IS DOING THAT ALREADY.”

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“A BARBECUE AREA WOULD BE A NICE MEETING POINT FOR THE NEIGHBOURHOOD.”

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These suggestions underline a point made previously in this section: tenants have a desire for change and would like to take more ownership of communal spaces to build on the initial appropriation that has already taken place. In order to support tenants in this goal and develop effective solutions, it is essential to work together closely with the community: to source ideas, prioritise them, and ensure they are successfully implemented.

As is argued by researchers such as Holland, Clark, Katz and Peace in ‘Social Interactions in Urban Public Places’*, there is often a significant gap between design intentions and social outcomes. The only way to ensure desired social outcomes is by what they term ‘designing in inclusion’, which means including all age groups and social groups in co-developing solutions. This should also be the chosen approach for Gaarden-Ost.

+ Holland, Clark, Katz & Peace, ‘Social Interactions in Urban Public Places’, Bristol: Policy Press, 2007.

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PART 5: ENHANCING SERVICES

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SERVICES AS A UNIQUE SELLING POINT One of Chronos’ key strategic goals is to differentiate itself from other Asset Managers by providing superior levels of service, both to clients and to tenants. As is explained on www.chronos-am.com, “Your tenants are our customers. For example, a key driver of performance is the ability to increase rents. Tenants are more likely to be receptive to increased rents if they are satisfied with the local services. Satisfied tenants will market the vacant apartments as they will spread the word as happy tenants. We work hard to instill a sense of pride in our tenants. This translates into lower tenant turnover, lower instances of rent arrears and a better, happier environment for new tenants.”

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To achieve this, Chronos’ approach is to commit to the philosophy that Chronos’ business is a local business and that what happens locally effects the bottom line. As well as providing a 24-hour helpline for late-night problems, Chronos works closely with tenants through a network of carefully selected Hausmeisters who are based locally and will react and report rapidly to ensure a dynamic relationship is maintained with the property managers and the asset managers. Each Hausmeister reports weekly to both the property and the asset managers to ensure Chronos is always in a position to improve matters. Furthermore, Chronos has already implemented several service offerings which are not provided by other Asset Managers. Tenants who are late in paying the rent receive a personal visit to inform and remind them. And tenants who have their rent directly paid by the so-called Jobcenters receive help in dealing

with the authorities in case of arrears. In this manner, problems with rent payments are addressed at an early stage and do not unnecessarily escalate to a point where tenants may find themselves being evicted.

THE EXPERIENCE ON THE GROUND However, the Well-Being Analysis conducted in Kiel revealed that at present there is a significant gap between Chronos’ goal of superior services and the tenant experience on the ground. As one tenant dramatically summed it up:

“EVERYTHING HAS GOT WORSE SINCE WE WERE SOLD.” One of the main tenant complaints was the insufficient presence of the Hausmeister.

“IT WAS BETTER IN THE PAST. THERE WAS A HAUSMEISTER OFFICE WE COULD GO TO.” “THE HAUSMEISTER DOES WHAT HE CAN. BUT HE’S ONLY HERE ONE DAY A WEEK AT THE MOST.” “THE HAUSMEISTER ISN’T PRESENT ENOUGH. IT WAS BETTER TWO YEARS AGO.” “FUNDAMENTALLY THE HAUSMEISTER ISN’T THERE; THERE’S NO CONTACT PERSON HERE.” “THERE’S NO CONTACT PERSON TO TURN TO.”

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“WHAT’S REALLY MISSING IS A HAUSMEISTER WHO SERVES AS A CONTACT PERSON.”

A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE

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Another major source of frustration was the low service levels around repairs.

Additionally, there was dissatisfaction with the low service levels of the Hausverwaltung.

“I HAD TO WAIT FIVE MONTHS FOR MY TOILET TO BE REPAIRED. IT ONLY HAPPENED A FEW WEEKS AGO WHEN I GOT A LAWYER INVOLVED AND DIDN’T PAY RENT FOR FOUR MONTHS.”

“YOU GET NO SUPPORT FROM THEM.”

“I WAITED HALF A YEAR FOR MY THERMOSTAT TO BE REPAIRED. DURING THAT TIME THE WATER WAS EITHER FREEZING COLD OR BOILING HOT.” “I ONLY GOT ONE KEY WHEN I MOVED IN WHICH BROKE BECAUSE IT WAS SO OLD. IT TOOK TWO WEEKS TO GET A NEW KEY.

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“MY BOILER IS BROKEN, REPAIR TIMES ARE MUCH TOO LONG AND THERE’S NOBODY TO ASK ABOUT IT.” “MY BOILER DIDN’T WORK FOR THREE MONTHS. I COULDN’T HAVE SHOWERS AND HAD TO GO TO MY SISTER’S. THE WORST THING WAS THE HAUSMEISTER SERVICE; THEY WERE RARELY PRESENT AND HAD TO GET APPROVAL FROM BERLIN.” (Reported by a 92-year-old)

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“SOME PEOPLE AVOID CALLING THEM ALTOGETHER.” “THEIR BEHAVIOUR IS HOSTILE AND UNCOOPERATIVE. WHEN A TENANT CALLS THEY HANG UP, THEY DON’T RESPOND TO LETTERS, IT TAKES SIX WEEKS TO REPAIR A BOILER.” And finally, several tenants complained about receiving no support in dealing with anti-social behaviour.

“SOME OF THE NEIGHBOURS ARE REALLY BAD. THEY BREAK DOORS AND DISTURB THE PEACE.” “SOMETIMES A NEIGHBOUR SLEEPS IN THE STAIRCASE BECAUSE HE’S DRUNK.” “EMPTY LIQUER BOTTLES GET THROWN OUT OF THE WINDOW.”


“I’M SCARED OF ONE OF MY NEIGHBOURS WHO IS A DRUG ADDICT. WE CARRIED OUT A PETITION IN THE BUILDING, SAYING THAT HE DISTURBS THE PEACE AND SHOULD LEAVE, BUT NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. WE ALSO PHONED THE POLICE BECAUSE OF THE LOUD MUSIC HE PLAYS, BUT THEY KNOW THE WHOLE STORY AND DON’T COME ANYMORE.“

The result of these various issues was a widespread feeling that things were better in the past and that service levels have been low ever since the city sold the properties.

“THINGS WERE BETTER FIVE YEARS AGO.” “IT’S BEEN REALLY BAD FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS.” “WE PAY FOR THE HAUSMEISTER, BUT THERE’S NO SERVICE. AND THE RENT KEEPS GOING UP.” “OVERALL THE HAUSMEISTER SERVICE HAS BEEN A BIG WEAKNESS SINCE THE CITY SOLD.” However, starting from a low baseline of tenant satisfaction and expectation also carries with it a distinct advantage. Even smaller improvements to service levels will constitute a large step forward, contribute to tenant well-being, and alert the community to the fact that change is afoot in Gaarden-Ost. As one tenant expressed it:

“IF WE JUST HAD A HAUSMEISTER WHO WAS PRESENT A BIT MORE AND TOOK CARE OF THINGS, IT WOULD BE MUCH EASIER TO GET BY IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD. ”

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ONE OF THE AIMS IS TO SIMPLIFY THE INTRODUCTION OF REPLICABLE INITIATIVES ACROSS VARIOUS CITIES 88


PART 5 RECODE

SETTING A NEW BASELINE In breaking through the “base contagious clouds” and “ugly mists of vapors” of current tenant sentiment around service levels, Chronos has already taken a major step forward by changing the Hausverwaltung in Kiel. Not only does this help to address tenant dissatisfaction with the previous Hausverwaltung, but it also allows Chronos to introduce more streamlining to its service endeavours. The fact that Chronos now works with the same Hausverwaltung in different cities will greatly simplify the introduction of replicable initiatives. To build on this step, it is recommended that four elements are put into place in GaardenOst:

HAUSMEISTER OFFICE A Hausmeister office will send out a clear signal that the issue of insufficient presence is being addressed. Yet in line with the strategy of trying to achieve multiple goals with individual steps, the office could also be used to fulfil a number of other functions related to the overall refurbishment. Firstly, the office constitutes Chronos’ presence on the ground in Kiel and could be branded in line with the recommendations in section 7 of this guide to communicate the change process both to tenants and a wider audience. And secondly, the office could be used as a partly public space which does not only allow for 1-to-1 Hausmeister-tenant interaction but could also host (small) community meetings and serve as a hub for the launch and maintenance of neighbourhood initiatives.

To enable the office to fulfil these various roles to maximum effect, it should ideally be located on the ground floor and have direct street access. Chronos has previously considered the idea of renting a nearby shop and such a location would be ideal. However, if this is not feasible in the short term, for instance on account of budgetary constrictions, a less ideal location could be considered, for instance re-using the former Hausmeister offices.

PRESENCE AND ACCESSIBILITY To address one of the main sources of current tenant dissatisfaction, it is essential that the Hausmeister has a regular on-site presence. The number of hours/days per week should be defined by Chronos, agreed upon with the Hausverwaltung, and communicated to tenants. It is important to bear in mind that the Hausmeister is a key actor in the overall change process and that the launch and maintenance of new initiatives will require additional time on top of everyday duties. For that reason, it would be ideal to allocate more Hausmeister on-site presence than would usually be the case. At times when the Hausmeister is not on site, tenants should of course be able to contact the Hausverwaltung during office hours as well as an emergency hotline for late-night problems.

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CASE STUDY RECODE RECODE PART PART 53

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RECODE

“WHO DOTH PERMIT THE BASE CONTAGIOUS CLOUDS TO SMOTHER UP HIS BEAUTY FROM THE WORLD, THAT WHEN HE MAY BE MORE WONDERED AT BY BREAKING THROUGH THE FOIL AND UGLY MISTS OF VAPORS THAT DID SEEM TO STRANGLE HIM.” WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE HENRY IV, PART 1 91


TARGET Q1

PERFORMANCE Q1

Hausmeister on site 2 days per week

95%

100%

Hausverwaltung answers 80% of calls within 30 seconds

80%

83%

Hausverwaltung returns telephone calls within 1 working day

90%

93%

Hausverwaltung responds to e-mail within 1 working day

90%

94%

Hausverwaltung responds to mail within 5 working days

90%

92%

Emergency hotline answers 80% of calls within 60 seconds

80%

77%

Attend to emergency repairs within 24 hours

95%

100%

Complete urgent repairs within 7 calendar days

95%

83%

Complete routine repairs within 30 calendar days

95%

72%

Visit within 1 working day for a serious complaint

100%

100%

Contact within 5 working days for a non-serious complaint

90%

83%

Satisfaction with Hausmeister

3/5

3.97

Satisfaction with Hausverwaltung

3/5

3.20

Satisfaction with presence & accessibility

4/5

3.87

Satisfaction with repair services

4/5

3.21

Satisfaction with anti-social behaviour services

5/5

5.00

Overall level of satisfaction with services

4/5

4.83

GAARDEN OST SERVICE PERFORMANCE REPORT, Q1 2012 Key area 1: presence & accessibility

Key area 2: repairs

Key area 3: anti-social behaviour

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Key area 4: overall tenant satisfaction with services

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GOOD OR BAD


PART 5 RECODE

SETTING AND MONITORING SERVICE TARGETS As well as establishing a Hausmeister office and improving presence and accessibility, it is recommended that Chronos define clear service targets to measure the performance of the Hausmeister and Hausverwaltung. This will not only help to ensure that the Hausmeister and Hausverwaltung deliver a solid service baseline, but will also support Chronos’ general philosophy of monitoring & measuring all activities and firmly tie this approach to the goal of offering superior service levels as a unique selling point. At a minimum, targets should be defined for the four key areas that were identified as weaknesses by the Well-Being Analysis: presence & accessibility; repairs; anti-social behaviour; and overall tenant satisfaction with services. Quarterly performance reports could be produced for the first three key areas. Since the fourth key area, overall tenant satisfaction, would require a tenant survey, this could be measured on a less frequent basis such as once per six months or once per year. The table provided on the left is a purely indicative illustration of some of the elements that the performance report could contain. The precise elements of the performance report would need to be defined by Chronos and agreed upon with the Hausverwaltung. In addition, appropriate monitoring systems would need to be introduced for the first three key areas and a survey

would need to be prepared and conducted for the fourth key area. In total this constitutes a substantial undertaking, yet several important points need to be borne in mind: + Just like the other elements of the overall refurbishment, setting and monitoring service targets should be viewed as a work in progress. The aim is not to achieve the desired goal in one great leap but to initiate a first step which can be built upon and improved over time. + Setting and monitoring targets is a replicable process which would be of benefit not only in Kiel but could also be rolled out to Chronos’ other properties. The fact that Chronos now works with the same Hausverwaltung in different cities is a valuable asset in this regard. + By setting and monitoring targets and doing so in a way which combines hard metrics (as defined in percentage figures) with soft metrics (as indicated by tenant satisfaction), Chronos will gain tremendous insight into what service offerings and standards contribute to tenant satisfaction. For instance: if a new service offering is implemented in Kiel yet does not result in greater tenant satisfaction, there would be little incentive to replicate it elsewhere. Conversely, a new service offering or higher service target that does enhance tenant satisfaction could certainly be considered for replication at Chronos’ other properties. + The level of transparency provided by Chronos would be unusual for German standards and would provide Chronos with a compelling story for its communication efforts.

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RECODE PART 5

HAUSMEISTER GOING FROM GOOD TO GREAT Once implemented, the recommendations described before will result in a solid baseline of services. However, to ensure that service levels reach a stage where they may truly “be wondered at� and function as a unique selling point for Chronos, it is advisable to add several innovative offerings. In line with the strategy of only doing a few things but doing them well, it is recommended that a limited number of offerings are launched in the short term. Two of these, the Community Participation and Green Flats initiatives, are discussed in section 6 of this guide. In this section we will focus on the Hausmeister+ programme and the knowledge-sharing opportunity it provides.

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The role of the Hausmeister+ in the overall refurbishment cannot be overstated. The Hausmeister+ will be the first point of contact for most tenant queries, the representative of the Chronos brand on the ground, and a key driver of many of the initiatives described in this guide. For that reason, it is essential that the Hausmeister+ is recruited carefully, knows and embraces his role, understands how it fits into the larger picture of the refurbishment, and is trained and empowered to carry out his responsibilities as effectively as possible.

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In section 2 of this guide, the terms of engagement of the overall refurbishment were defined as Respect, Allow and Ignite. For this approach to be successful, it is essential that it is embraced by all key actors in the change process, including Chronos, the Hausverwaltung and the Hausmeister+. For the Hausmeister+ this implies the following: + Show respect for the neighbourhood and the local community. + Understand and value the current strengths that can be built upon. + Represent the Chronos brand through courtesy and professionalism. + Appreciate that every interaction with tenants is a key interaction point that can serve to enhance tenant satisfaction. + Take all tenant issues seriously and either address them oneself or together with the Hausverwaltung and Chronos. + Work hand in hand with the Hausverwaltung and Chronos to ensure that the service level targets are accomplished.


RESPECT 95


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ALLOW + Appreciate the importance of tenant input in the improvement process.

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+ Listen to and welcome all suggestions for improvements from tenants.

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+

Maintain a written record of tenant suggestions to share with the Hausverwaltung, Chronos, and in due course with other Hausmeister+ in the programme.

+

Channel and manage volunteerism by allowing tenants, who are willing and able to implement improvements themselves. Liaise with the Hausverwaltung and Chronos to allow as many initiatives as possible.

+

If tenants are not able to implement improvements themselves, liaise with the Hausverwaltung and Chronos to see which suggestions should be acted upon.

+

Spread the word of good initiatives to as many tenants as possible to build a virtuous circle where tenants know that their suggestions and initiatives are appreciated.


ALLOW 97


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IGNITE

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PART 5 RECODE

IGNITE + Understand the direction and the goals of the overall refurbishment. + Serve as the brand representative on the ground for the change process. + Act as a key driver for the ignition initiatives discussed in section 6 of this guide. + Source the community for further ignition initiatives that could be implemented. + Monitor the success of ignition initiatives and identify what works and what doesn’t work to create best-practice intelligence that can be used by other Hausmeister+. + Strive always to take the extra step from problem solving to igniting. Every problem in the community constitutes an opportunity to develop an innovative solution. By embracing and proactively applying the three principles, the Hausmeister+ will play a key role in sending out a signal of change to the local community. Tenants will understand that they are respected and that their concerns are taken seriously. They will appreciate that they have scope to implement improvements and that their ideas and actions are valued. And they will see by means of the various ignition initiatives that Chronos is also eager to implement change and willing to invest in the process. Taken together, these three pillars support the space in the middle that needs to be developed to have a truly successful neighbourhood refurbishment: viz community buy-in and involvement. As mentioned before, the Hausmeister+ needs to be both empowered and trained to carry out his role as effectively as possible. In terms of empowerment: Chronos and the Hausverwaltung need to work closely with the Hausmeister+; extend to him a high level of trust; give him leeway to contribute

to the change process on the ground; enable him to be perceived by tenants as an agent of change; and provide him with a simple and fast process to obtain approvals. As for the Hausmeister+ training programme, it is recommended that it is developed and launched in accordance with the following principles: + A phased roll-out Since the Hausmeister+ training programme is both innovative and novel, a phased approach which involves learning and improving along the way is advisable. As a first step, the Hausmeister+ in Gaarden-Ost can be trained and receive ongoing support as he transitions into his new role. Based on the learnings and experiences of this pilot, the programme can then be optimised and implemented at Chronos’ other properties. + With a modular set-up In line with the strategy of only doing a few things but doing them well, the Hausmeister+ does not need to receive all the training that will be of value to him in one go. Instead, it is recommended that a limited number of training modules are developed to begin with and that these are then complemented with additional modules over time. + Where the trainees eventually become the trainers As more Hausmeister+ come on board, the training programme will move away from the traditional trainer-learner set-up and become a vehicle for knowledge exchange, where Hausmeister+ who have acquired particular skills and insights pass these on to their peers. Indeed, the long-term goal would be to create a community of Hausmeister+ who have the skills and experience on the one hand, as well as the opportunities and channels on the other, to engage in ongoing mutual coaching and bestpractice sharing.

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ALLOW

TENANT VOLUNTEERISM

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RESPECT

100

IGNITE


PART 5 RECODE

GETTING THE BALL ROLLING IN GAARDEN-OST The pilot training programme for the Hausmeister+ in Gaarden-Ost should be specially tailored and aligned with the overall refurbishment. In other words: training modules should be offered which support the specific initiatives that Chronos is planning to launch. Based on the recommendations in this guide, including the initiatives discussed in detail in section 6, the initial training programme could include the following modules: + Module 1: Strategy What makes for a successful neighbourhood. Where we are now in Gaarden-Ost versus where we want to get to. The role of the Hausmeister+ in the overall strategy. + Module 2: Communication

+ Module 4: Sustainability The importance of sustainability in the overall strategy. How simple behavioural changes can lead to win-win situations for tenants, Chronos, and the environment. + Module 5: Process management The roles and interplay of the Hausmeister+, the Hausverwaltung, Chronos, and service providers like Etikstudio. Which buttons to push in which situation. Moving from one-off to replication: record keeping as a foundation for best-practice sharing. In addition, optional modules could include a crash course in gardening (to support future initiatives to enhance public spaces) as well as a crash course in carpentry (to support the swapshop initiative discussed in detail in section 4). Though in the spirit of only doing a few things but doing them well, these could also be postponed until a later date.

The importance of listening. Tenants as a key resource to identify strengths, weaknesses and opportunities. Representing the Chronos brand and the change process. + Module 3: Involvement The three pillars of respect, allow and ignite that support community involvement. Engaging tenants in community events. Mobilising tenants to implement change.

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One final point needs to be mentioned. The Hausmeister+ programme as described thus far is already an extremely novel service offering, yet it could be construed even more ambitiously. Different orders of Hausmeister+ merit could be implemented, whereby Hausmeister+ progress in their role from beginner to e.g. bronze, silver and gold level. The credits that are necessary to progress to the next level could be obtained in a variety of ways: by taking part in training modules, by achieving job targets, by managing on-site initiatives, and by coaching other Hausmeister+. Ideally this approach would be complemented with an incentive scheme, whereby Hausmeister+ are rewarded for their progress either by a pay increase or by other benefits such as e.g. a Hausmeister+ annual conference in an attractive location. It should be emphasised that it is not necessary to implement this more ambitious model from the outset. Yet if it is considered a desirable future direction, it should be borne in mind throughout the planning and implementation phase of the Gaarden-Ost pilot.

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In any event the Hausmeister+ programme will result in a powerful story for Chronos. Given the limited expectations of Hausmeister in Germany, where the position does not carry with it any strict job requirements and merely presupposes a certain degree of technical/ handyman ability, the Hausmeister+ programme will be innovative on different levels. Not only is it a novel way to enhance tenant satisfaction; it also helps to upgrade a low-status job to one which involves a great deal more responsibility, scope for action, and opportunity for personal and professional growth. Furthermore, by adopting a phased and modular approach, Chronos will follow a risk-free path. The story need only be told if and when the Hausmeister+ programme has led to sufficiently impressive results.


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PART 6: IGNITING THE NEIGHBOUR HOOD

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Igniting the neighbourhood is about launching events and initiatives that build on the strengths of the community, either the current ones or the ones envisaged for the future, yet that do so in a bold and novel manner. In other words, it is about shaking things up, doing things differently, and changing perceptions and expectations. In the spirit of only doing a few things but doing them well, and bearing in mind that there will probably not be substantial budget for ignition events, the following low-cost initiatives are recommended for Gaarden-Ost. In conjunction with the other proposals discussed in this guide, they will help to send out a powerful signal of change.

INITIATIVE ONE: THE BIG L(A)UNCH As discussed in section 2, there is a strong sense of local identity among current long-term tenants, many of whom have strong ties to Kiel in general and Gaarden-Ost in particular. However, this sense of local identity has not been nourished in recent years. There have been few neighbourhood events to bring the community together:

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“IN THE PAST THERE USED TO BE BARBECUES IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD; THAT HAS COME TO AN END IN THE LAST FEW YEARS.” “IT WOULD BE GOOD TO DO SOMETHING LIKE A BARBECUE AGAIN; WE HAVEN’T DONE THAT FOR A LONG TIME.”

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And as a result both of this undernourishment and the other factors discussed in section 2, tenant identification with the neighbourhood has suffered. Indeed, what little community interaction there is, is often confined to individual buildings:

“THERE’S NO FEELING OF COMMUNITY AT ALL RIGHT NOW.” “I’M THERE FOR THE PEOPLE IN MY BUILDING BUT NOT FOR THE OTHERS.” “I DON’T HAVE MUCH CONTACT WITH THE NEIGHBOURS IN MY BUILDING, LET ALONE THE PEOPLE IN THE OTHER BUILDINGS. IT WAS BETTER IN THE PAST; THE CHILDREN USED TO PLAY TOGETHER OUTSIDE.” The Gaarden-Ost Big L(a)unch aims to address this by getting tenants out of their flats and bringing them together at a communal event, thereby bolstering local identity as well as celebrating the diversity of the neighbourhood. As the name of the initiative suggests, the Big L(a)unch is inspired by the Big Lunch in the UK, a very simple idea from the Eden Project which aims to get as many people as possible across the UK to have lunch with their neighbours in a simple act of community, friendship and fun.


CASE STUDY PART 6

THE BIG LUNCH As described by the Eden Project, the Big Lunch is based on a belief that the world can be a better place through people working together with optimism and common sense: “We know that when people get together, we become more positive and start to sort out some serious stuff." "By simply having some fun with our neighbours on one day, we can build new friendships that we can enjoy for the rest of the year." "The Big Lunch is a chance for neighbours from different generations and backgrounds to hear each other out and share stories, skills and interests. We call this phenomenon human warming.” As well as a Big Lunch being an enjoyable event, the Eden Project identifies a number of reasons why it is good to sit down and eat with one’s community: “To stoke up community spirit and human warming." "To make the third of us who live alone feel happier, closer and friendlier. "

RECODE

"To show how local people can change a neighbourhood for good, forever." "To conquer our natural shyness by opening our curtains, doors and minds and looking out for one another." "To share stories, skills and tools, so we all end up richer in every sense." "To discover common ground across age, class, faith, race and the garden fence, and to remind ourselves that charity begins at home, or at most a couple of doors away.” In 2011 the Big Lunch took place on Sunday 5th June when the best part of two million people participated. Next year it will fall on the same weekend as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations and a record number of people is expected to take part. A Big Lunch can be anything from a few neighbours getting together in the garden or on the street, to a full blown party with food, music and decorations. Since starting in 2009, thousands of Big Lunches have taken place in all kinds of communities across the UK and millions of people have participated.


RECODE PART 6

The impact of a communal neighbourhood event such as the Big Lunch can be extremely significant. Surveys conducted in 2011 after the UK Big Lunch showed that: Among participants + 89% said it encouraged a sense of community + 89% thought it brought generations together + 86% said it was a day to remember + 84% said it made them feel better about their neighbourhood + 74% created new relationships which they wanted to continue + 69% identified a stronger sense of community after the event + >50% said that they felt less isolated after the event Among organisers + 95% said that the Big Lunch had been good for their community

The Gaarden-Ost Big L(a)unch will aim to replicate these positive numbers. Unfortunately, with the onset of winter, it will not be possible to hold the event in 2011 and a target date could instead be set for spring 2012. Organising the Big L(a)unch is not difficult and merely involves the following simple steps: + Decide on a date and a venue. In the case of Gaarden-Ost, it may be simplest to hold the event on one of the communal lawns. If the event is held in the street, permission needs to be obtained from the city to close the road. + Find out who will come and who would like to help with the organisation. This can be done by means of leaflets, posters and word of mouth. Since the event will not only be a Lunch but also a Launch, it is important that Chronos heads the organisational efforts - yet tenant involvement is certainly desirable. Furthermore, it should be borne in mind that the event is an excellent opportunity for the Hausmeister to play a key co-ordinating role between Chronos and the neighbourhood.

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+ Arrange food and seating. Depending on the number of participants, it may be too large a task for Chronos to provide all food and seating. In that case participants can be asked e.g. to bring one dish to share as well as to provide chairs and tables for the event, while Chronos could e.g. provide a barbecue. If the event is held on a warm day, seating can be improvised by picnic-style blankets on the lawn.

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“I WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE COMMUNAL EVENTS IN THE NEIGHBOUR HOOD AGAIN.” A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE

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The event will provide Chronos with a story of the neighbourhood coming together in a “simple act of community, friendship and fun”. And additionally, it will give Chronos an opportunity to present the refurbishment plans to tenants. The initiatives that have already been implemented by this time can be explained; initiatives that have not yet been launched but that are on the way can be outlined; tenants can be invited to participate; the new Chronos approach can be elucidated; and suggestions from tenants for further improvements can be sourced. From a communications perspective it is essential not to over-promise at the event and to bear in mind current levels of tenant dissatisfaction and scepticism. What is eminently possible, however, is to demonstrate the commitment to change and to ongoing Chronos-tenant dialogue. It is therefore essential to pitch the event not as a one-off but as part of a long-term improvement process. Ideally the Hausmeister+ should already be in place by this time and be enabled to play a significant organisational role in the event. This will support him in his role and allow him to build relations with the neighbourhood, as well as underline to tenants that Chronos has an empowered representative on the ground to whom they can turn.

© clear-village.org 2011

INITIATIVE TWO: GREEN FLATS The Well-Being Analysis revealed that at present there is little awareness among tenants about sustainability and green themes. For instance, one tenant who was asked whether the subject of renewable energies was important for her answered:

“YES, ONE THINKS ABOUT THESE THINGS. BUT IT’S QUITE A SCIENCE TO FIGURE OUT ALL THE INFORMATION.”

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At the same time, as discussed in section 2 of this guide, establishing sustainability as a forwardoriented community value is one of the goals of the refurbishment. Many tenants already evince a number of good sustainable behaviours such as low energy consumption as well as low car ownership and use, but it must be stressed that this is primarily a result of their depressed financial situation rather than environmental concerns. For that reason more needs to be done to raise awareness of sustainability and thus embark on the process of positioning it as a community value. This is where the second proposed initiative, Green Flats, comes in. The initiative is based on the following premises: + The initiative needs to be a simple first step that serves to introduce the topic of sustainability to the community and that can be built upon subsequently. + Given that there will probably not be adequate budget for expensive technical measures, the focus should rather be on knowledge and behavioural change. The effort to sensitise tenants to the Green Flats initiative and energy efficiency can be reinforced by communicating small energy efficiency measures that are implemented in Gaarden-Ost as well as initiatives that are part of the regular process of maintenance and refurbishment. + In view of the current lack of interest in sustainability and green themes, the hook to engage tenants should be saving money by reducing energy consumption. The Green Flats initiative as proposed here is inspired by Birmingham’s green doctor service, an innovative scheme to help vulnerable people save money and avoid fuel poverty by giving them energy-saving advice.


CASE STUDY PART 6

GREEN DOCTOR SERVICE Households in Birmingham are being encouraged to get an energy-saving health check thanks to a green doctor service set up by Family Housing Association in conjunction with Moseley Community Development Trust and Groundwork West Midlands. A team of green doctors operate in parts of Birmingham in a bid to help vulnerable people who are over 60 years old and/or on low incomes to save money and avoid fuel poverty by giving them energy-saving advice. The free service involves energy-saving experts surveying properties and giving residents tips to

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keep warm, save money on gas and electricity bills, reduce energy usage and save the environment. The green doctors also help residents by installing energy-saving devices, such as draft-proofing, energy-saving lightbulbs and water-saving hippo bags for toilets, free of charge to help people save money. As green doctor Mohammed Nasim put it: “A lot of the tips may be small but ultimately have big savings for people’s purses and the environment. People have been surprised by some of the advice because it involves things that people don’t think of, like not leaving the TV on standby and only filling the kettle with as much water as is needed.”

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The 2011 evaluation report on the green doctor service in Birmingham showed that the initiative had been successful in many respects. Green doctors estimated that they had made a difference to between 80% and 95% of the homes they had visited. It was felt that older people had benefitted especially, as many had never been able to work out how to adjust their heating system controls or realised which appliances were using up electricity merely by being plugged into a socket but not in use.

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The most common behavioural change advice offered by green doctors in descending order was to: turn off standby; switch to low-energy lightbulbs; limit the amount of water heated; adjust heating controls; and adjust thermostats. More than 50% of householders rated the green doctor’s advice as “very influential” and the evidence suggests that the vast majority did actually implement the behaviour change advice, thereby reducing their energy use and saving money on their fuel bills. A reasonable proportion had also been able to influence the behaviours of other family members; it is notable that money savings proved to be the most influential argument to persuade others.

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Two green doctors summarised their positive experiences as follows: “IF YOU CAN TALK TO SOMEONE FOR LONG ENOUGH YOU WILL BE ABLE TO FIND SOMETHING THAT CAN TRIGGER A CHANGE IN BEHAVIOUR... WHETHER THEY ARE MONEY MOTIVATED OR SOMETHING ELSE.” “IT COMES DOWN TO WHETHER YOU HAVE GIVEN THEM SOMETHING THEY DIDN’T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT... A LITTLE GEM OF KNOWLEDGE WHICH MAKES THEM MORE LIKELY TO DO IT.” However, it must be emphasised that the Green Flats initiative in Gaarden-Ost does not aim to be a replica of the green doctor scheme. This would be out of the question on account of cost. The green doctor scheme was a large-scale programme which involved a team of full-time and part-time employees; provided householders with freeof-charge draft proofing, lightbulbs and other offerings; and received significant funding from Be Birmingham’s Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) as well as the European Union Social Fund.


Instead, the Green Flats initiative uses the green doctor scheme as a model, but simplifies it and reduces its scope to create a simple yet compelling first step towards sustainability for Gaarden-Ost. The Green Flats initiative could be rolled out in the following manner: + Carry out a brochure campaign in GaardenOst to inform tenants of the Green Flats pilot. The brochures will explain that Chronos will pay for free energy-saving advice for a limited number of households (e.g. 10) and ask interested tenants to get in touch and provide their contact details by a defined date. + The number of interested households may greatly exceed the number of available places. In many respects this would be ideal, as it would provide Chronos with a contact list of potential ‘sustainability ambassadors’ going forward. In the interest of fairness, a lucky draw could be held in this case. + Arrange for an energy advisor to visit the 10 selected households. This could be an expert from the Clear Village/Etikstudio network. Or more simply, it could be a local energy advisor. For instance, the Verbraucherzentrale (Germany’s Consumer Focus) has offered energy advice for over thirty years and has a network of architects, engineers and physicists in 600 locations, including Kiel, who are specialised in questions around efficient energy use such as cutting down on domestic consumption, changing energy provider, and so on. Thanks to funding by the Bundeswirtschaftsministerium (the Ministry of Economics), an on-site consultation by an energy advisor costs only 45 euros. For more information, please see www.verbraucherzentraleenergieberatung.de/web/

+ Ideally the Hausmeister+ will be in place by this time and will be able to attend the consultations. This will be valuable for two reasons. Firstly, as the representative of Chronos, the Hausmeister+ will be able to gather information on what the landlord can do to help tenants reduce consumption. And secondly, the Hausmeister+ will be able to learn from the advice offered by the energy advisor and thus grow into a role where he can serve as an informal advisor to tenants himself. + In line with the above point: after the on-site consultation the energy advisor will provide a brief written report with concrete suggestions for action. The arrangement should be that Chronos also receives a copy of these reports, which can then be analysed to determine which are the most common tips for Gaarden-Ost tenants. In addition, Chronos should conduct a brief survey of the households that were visited to determine how satisfied tenants were with the advice and whether or not they will follow the advisor’s recommendations. The information from the reports and the surveys can then be collated into a short Green Flats pilot report, which can be shared with tenants either through another brochure or (more powerfully) at a neighbourhood information event - for example at one of the neighbourhood lunches - where the Hausmeister+ and tenants who were visited can share their experiences with other members of the community. Besides being low cost and easy to execute, the Green Flats initiative will be a story for Chronos. It will enable Chronos to engage with tenants at multiple times (before, during and after consultations), raise awareness of the themes of energy savings and sustainability, and allow Chronos to promote itself as an engaged landlord with an innovative approach to enhancing tenant satisfaction as well as contributing to the environment.

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AN EXAMPLE OF GREEN FLATS IN GAARDEN-OST Simple low-cost measures like individual energy meters can help to raise awareness around energy consumption and build a foundation for more innovative and far-reaching sustainabilitiy initiatives.

central measuring => "Warmmiete"

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SUSTAIN ABILITY

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“EVERYONE RESPECTS EACH OTHER AND HELPS EACH OTHER.” © clear-village.org 2011

A RESIDENT OF AUGUSTENSTRAßE

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INITIATIVE THREE: COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION As explained in section 2, one of the key community values to build upon is Community Spirit: tenants wishing to take action to help others and contribute to the neighbourhood. The Well-Being Analysis revealed a number of interesting points in this respect. Firstly, there are already many instances of tenants helping each other out:

“EVERYONE RESPECTS EACH OTHER AND HELPS EACH OTHER.” “WE HELP THE NON-GERMANS WITH BUREAUCRATIC MATTERS.” “PEOPLE LOOK AFTER EACH OTHER; WE NOTICE WHEN WE HAVEN’T SEEN SOMEONE FOR A FEW DAYS; AND WE HELP THE FOREIGNERS WITH OFFICIAL LETTERS.”

Additionally, several tenants expressed an interest in helping to improve communal spaces:

“I COULD IMAGINE HAVING FLOWER BEDS HERE. I WOULD HAPPILY HELP WITH THAT.” “I WOULD LIKE TO PLANT FLOWERS. IN IRAQ I PLANTED ONIONS, TOMATOES, AUBERGINES, COURGETTES AND FLOWERS AS WELL.” “THERE WERE PIGEONS IN THE ATTIC. I’VE CLEANED UP THERE MYSELF AND PUT UP A WINDOW GRATE.” “LETTING US PLANT FLOWERS IN THE FRONT GARDENS WOULD BE A GREAT IDEA.” “I COULD HELP OUT WITH THE GARDENS AND SHARE MY EXPERIENCE WITH PEOPLE.” (Mentioned by a part-time gardener and florist)

“SOME OF THE OLDER PEOPLE HAD TROUBLE WALKING ON THE PAVEMENTS. SO TOGETHER WITH SOME OF THE NEIGHBOURS WE LIFTED SOME OF THE FLAGSTONES, CUT THE ROOTS UNDERNEATH THEM AND PUT THEM BACK AGAIN TO MAKE THE PAVEMENTS LEVEL.”

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However, it was also reported that previous offers to help had been turned down:

“MY NEIGHBOUR OFFERED TO PAINT THE STAIRWELLS. HE WASN’T ALLOWED BECAUSE THE PAINT WOULD HAVE HAD TO BE FIRE PROOF.” “AN ACQUAINTANCE OFFERED TO CLEAN UP THE WHOLE BASEMENT FOR A BIT OF MONEY AND TAKE EVERYTHING TO THE RUBBISH TIP. BUT HE NEVER GOT THE GO-AHEAD.” And finally, some tenants also voiced a strong degree of skepticism about the idea of communityspirited action being able to make a difference to the neighbourhood:

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“I DON’T THINK THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE WOULD WANT TO TAKE CARE OF ANYTHING.” “THERE’S NO POINT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT THE GREEN SPACES. I WOULDN’T WANT TO DO ANY GARDENING AND I DON’T THINK IT WOULD SERVE ANY PURPOSE EITHER. IT WOULDN’T BE APPRECIATED. AND THAT’S OBVIOUS ALREADY FROM THE FACT THAT THERE’S RUBBISH STANDING AROUND EVERYWHERE.”

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The Community Participation scheme aims to address this: by engaging tenants to assist with the overall refurbishment as well as supporting them in helping each other on everyday tasks, thereby bolstering community spirit and establishing it as a visible community strength. The two different aspects of the scheme - (1) tenants helping Chronos with the refurbishment and (2) tenants helping each other - need to be considered separately on account of the differences between them. Yet the following considerations apply to both of them: + Building community participation is a longterm process which requires a high degree of commitment. Furthermore, since community spirit cannot be coerced and is dependent on the buy-in and engagement of the community, it is essential to keep one’s finger on the community pulse and adapt the process accordingly. + It is important to remain realistic and appreciate that not all tenants will get involved. Indeed, studies such as Ipsos MORI’s 2009 ‘Understanding Tenant Involvement’ suggest that there is a ceiling on how many tenants will actually get involved, which reflects a wider trend in research surrounding civic participation. + That said, tenant involvement remains an extremely worthwhile goal. The Ipsos MORI report mentioned above showed firstly, that there is a tangible link between tenant satisfaction and involvement and secondly, that housing providers who are most keen to involve their tenants also tend to have the most satisfied tenants.


“MY NEIGHBOUR OFFERED TO PAINT THE STAIRWELLS. HE WASN’T ALLOWED (..)” A RESIDENT OF KIELERSTRAßE

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TENANTS HELPING CHRONOS WITH THE REFURBISHMENT In order to engage tenants with the overall refurbishment, it is essential to adopt a new approach comprised of the following elements:

+ ALLOW In order to engage tenants with the overall refurbishment, a strong commitment to the new approach of allowing is key. Unlike in the past, where tenants wishing to take action were stopped from doing so, the strategy going forward should be to allow and support as many tenant initiatives as possible. This approach needs to be fully embraced by all the actors in the change process including Chronos, the Hausverwaltung and the Hausmeister+. Every initiative that is blocked is an opportunity missed, not only in terms of the initiative itself but also in terms of building a spirit of community participation.

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+ MAKE SIMPLE. Contributing to the overall refurbishment should be made as simple as possible for tenants, as every obstacle lessens the chance of tenants moving from wanting to take action to doing so in practice. The recommendations outlined in section 5 of this guide apply here as well: ideally the Hausmeister should be empowered as a Hausmeister+, have a local office and show a strong on-site presence. In this manner, tenants will know to whom they can turn with their ideas and suggestions for tenant initiatives.

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+ CELEBRATE Tenant participation should be celebrated. It is not advisable to tie tenant participation to remuneration, whether in the form of direct payment or a rent decrease or any other such method. Firstly, this would undermine the idea of tenants getting involved for community-spirited reasons. And secondly, it would lay Chronos open to the charge of drawing on cheap labour. Instead, Chronos’ primary role should lie in allowing tenant initiatives and celebrating them afterwards. Active tenants could for instance be put in the spotlight in written communications to tenants as well as at neighbourhood events such as the Big L(a)unch. This would not only be a respectful gesture towards active tenants but would also educate other tenants about community participation.

+ MONITOR And finally tenant participation should be monitored, ideally by the Hausmeister+. A record should be kept of tenants expressing their desire to contribute to the refurbishment in a particular way, as well as of initiatives that actually take place. The goal of the monitoring process is two-fold. Firstly, it is a way of gathering intelligence on what improvements tenants would like to see (for instance: during the Well-Being Analysis several tenants expressed a desire to take part in gardening activities; whether or not they would actually volunteer in practice does not alter the fact that they would like to see improvements in this regard). And secondly, it is a way of identifying the core group of tenants that are prepared to take the key step from saying to


doing. Research such as the Ipsos MORI report cited before shows that there is often a significant gap between what tenants say and what they will do. By keeping track of tenant suggestions and activities in Gaarden-Ost, it will be possible over time to determine who are the so-called empowered and energetic tenants who can be relied on to take action and function as community spirit ambassadors. The approach outlined that has been outlined will provide a healthy basis for tenant participation in the refurbishment. Tenants will know to whom they should turn if they wish to become involved; they will find that their suggestions are welcomed and frequently allowed; they will see their actions recognised and celebrated before the community; and Chronos will gather ongoing intelligence into the state of community spirit in Gaarden-Ost.

+ IGNITE tenant participation is a more difficult task, however. The challenge is to avoid any potentially damaging accusations, either from tenants or from a broader public, that Chronos is attempting to mobilize a cheap labour force to lower the costs of the refurbishment. From a communications perspective it is absolutely essential to minimise the risk of such charges being made and hence the following steps are recommended:

+ Build goodwill before raising the topic of tenant participation. Many of the initiatives proposed in this guide will help to build goodwill and break down the walls that currently exist between tenants and property management. It is essential to construct a more solid foundation of Chronos/tenant trust before inviting tenants to collaborate- and this can best be achieved by Chronos demonstrating its commitment to the change process by implementing a number of initiatives. + Frame tenant participation within a broader context. Any attempt at the early stages of the refurbishment to mobilise tenants by means of e.g. a targeted brochure campaign or a special event would run the risk of raising the above-mentioned accusations. For that reason, it is advisable to broach the topic within a broader framework such as the Big L(a)unch. Given that the focus of the Big L(a)unch is not on tenant participation, the topic could be raised in a non-obtrusive way. + Outline the process, not the goal. The longterm goal is to have as many tenants as possible contributing to the change process through ideas and actions. Yet from a communications perspective, this message is not likely to resonate in the early stages. For that reason, it is advisable to present the changed approach and process instead. At an event like the Big L(a)unch, Chronos could explain that mistakes were made in the past, such as not letting tenants carry out improvements, but that such initiatives will be welcomed going forward and supported by the Hausmeister+.

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+ Light a spark and fan the fire. The Well-Being Analysis revealed that tenant interest in participation was especially strong in terms of gardening activities, with several tenants stating that they would like to be involved and a professional florist offering to share her expertise. As an initial test balloon, the possibility of communal gardening could be cited at the Big L(a)unch as an example of the sort of initiative that will be welcomed going forward. In case tenants react positively, it is essential to provide maximum support and ensure that the initiative is carried out.

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+ If the initial spark doesn’t catch, adapt and try again. In case the above approach does not lead to tenant participation, an alternative initiative could be attempted. In view of the findings from the WellBeing Analysis, the focus could again be on planting and gardening in communal spaces. In this case, a neighbourhood event could be held by Chronos to gather tenant input on how open spaces could be improved. The negative aspects of this approach are (1) the costs of facilitating the event and (2) the need to follow up and act upon tenant input, for which a budget would need to be allocated. On the other hand: given the importance that many tenants attach to public spaces, the event would undoubtedly attract substantial tenant interest. + In all cases: let tenants and the Hausmeister+ be perceived as the drivers. The more tenants feel that they are in charge of particular initiatives, together with the Hausmeister+, the less likely it is that Chronos is perceived as aiming to mobilize a cheap labour force. For that reason it is important for Chronos, especially in the early stages of the refurbishment, to remain in the background and focus on allowing, supporting and celebrating rather than on visibly driving initiatives.

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These steps may appear cautious. But given the potential sensitivity and risk to Chronos’ image, a careful approach is advisable. What is key is to combine three components: (1) a solid reactive framework (allow, make simple, celebrate, monitor) which enables tenants easily to move from saying to doing; (2) a subtle proactive approach which reaches out to tenants in a non-obtrusive manner; and (3) a willingness and capacity to respond immediately to tenant desire to act and ensure successful execution. Once an initial track record of tenant-led initiatives is established, no matter how small they may be, there will be a number of positive outcomes: + Chronos will have the beginnings of a story about community participation which can be built upon and strengthened over time. + Chronos will have an initial record of empowered and energetic tenants who can be drawn upon to contribute to other initiatives. + Now that the overall framing is appropriate, with tenants and the Hausmeister+ being perceived as change drivers, Chronos can gradually move away from its careful approach and scope out further opportunities to engage tenants in participatory activities. Furthermore, now that a group of “community spirit ambassadors” has been identified among tenants, initiatives can be developed hand in hand with the community, leading to a virtuous circle of participation where active tenants enlist other tenants to contribute to the change process. The goal in Gaarden-Ost is first and foremost to identify the group of empowered and energetic tenants who can be engaged to contribute to the refurbishment in a sustained manner. Additionally, it is also desirable over time to start to transition other tenants from a passive and/or negative mindset to a more positive and active one.


CASE STUDY PART 6

UNDERSTANDING TENANT INVOLVEMENT IPSOS MORI’S 2009 report “Understanding Tenant Involvement” for the Tenant Services Authority identified 5 types of typologies for tenants. Though the report focuses mainly on tenant involvement in decision making, the findings are in line with wider research into civic participation and can be applied to other (more active) types of participation, too. 1. Empowered and energetic. These are actively involved tenants, sometimes characterised as ‘dogooders’ and ‘busybodies’ by some other tenants. 2. Aware but disillusioned. These are tenants who may once have been involved, but are no longer active. Many have been disillusioned by bad experiences of participation and are consequently unlikely to return to participation.

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3. Resigned but ranting. These are non-involved tenants who express no interest in getting involved. These tenants are generally apathetic and make considerable excuses for their indifference. 4. Keen but non-committal. These are noninvolved tenants who support the idea of involvement, are keen on the perceived benefits, and suggest that they would participate if given the opportunity. However, on probing, it becomes clear that they would not actually follow through with these claims. 5. Satisfied and indifferent. These are non-involved tenants who express no interest in getting involved and are generally satisfied with their housing provider. 123


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TENANTS HELPING EACH OTHER The second part of the Community Participation scheme - enabling tenants to help each other is a more ambitious and long-term project than the first part. However, since it builds in many respects on the first part of the Community Participation scheme and since it would constitute an extremely compelling story for Chronos once implemented, the initiative should be borne in mind and certain elements of the groundwork should already be laid during the early stages of the change process.

The initiative is based on the following premises: + As described previously, there are already many instances of tenants in Gaarden-Ost helping each other on everyday tasks. An example that was mentioned several times during the Well-Being Analysis was tenants helping non-German members of the community with bureaucratic matters. + In a relatively poor neighbourhood like GaardenOst, there tends to be a large demand for help from neighbours with everyday tasks like the one mentioned above, as tenants do not have the financial means to pay for professional service providers. Other typical examples where people may require and welcome help include: shopping, home repairs, simple car repairs, language training, babysitting, dog walking, plant watering, moving and lifting, and so on.

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+ Though some of the demand for help in Gaarden-Ost is met, as described in the first point above, most of it is not. Whilst this is of course perfectly normal, it could be viewed as a gap in the market which Chronos could fill by positioning itself in the middle, as the coordinator between demand and supply for everyday help. By matchmaking between those who need help on the one hand and those who are prepared to offer it on the other hand, Chronos would provide a massive boost to the value of community spirit, provide tenants with an extremely valuable and novel service, and create a powerful story.

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These considerations are inspired by the success of the time banking system. Time banking, initially called ‘time dollars’ or ‘service credits’, was devised by Dr. Edgar Kahn in the 1980s and initially put into practice in the US, where many time-dollar projects were launched in deprived inner-city neighbourhoods by grass-roots practitioners. These pioneering projects attracted great interest in Japan, where hundreds of schemes were subsequently implemented, as well as in the UK, where time bank projects now support neighbourhood renewal, health improvement, life-long learning, conventional volunteering, care for the environment, and other forms of community enterprise. The case study of Southwark Circle in this guide is, in fact, a tailored version of a time bank. The principle of time banking is extremely simple: one hour equals one time credit. At a time bank everyone’s time is valued equally; one hour of sharing skills or looking out for others is rewarded with one time credit, which can then be spent on getting support from other local people. The power of time banking is that the load is shared out by letting people do what they enjoy doing for others (such as dog walking) in return for services that others enjoy doing for them (such as home repairs). Setting up an effective time bank is reasonably simple and can be done with a group as small as 5-10 members.

Given the power of time banks in improving people’s lives in deprived neighbourhoods and given the value of the marketing story that would result for Chronos, it is certainly advisable to work towards an eventual implementation in Gaarden-Ost at a later date. Before that point, however, it is recommended that the following steps take place: + The Hausmeister+ as the spider in the web. Once the Hausmeister+ is in place, he will be the natural coordinating force to enable tenants to help tenants. By identifying tenants that need certain types of help on the one hand and tenants that could provide that help on the other, he will in time be able to develop a grounded sense of what a time bank (or a tailored version) could deliver in Gaarden-Ost. + Building up a small track record. There is nothing more compelling about a time bank than the concrete instances of win-win situations of people mutually helping each other. One of the goals of the Hausmeister+ in the early stages would be to facilitate these situations by matchmaking between tenants who need help and tenants who can offer it, thus creating an initial track record for the larger initiative. + Identifying engaged and energetic tenants. In line with the first part of the Community Participation scheme - tenants helping with the refurbishment - it is essential to identify the group of empowered and energetic tenants who are willing to take communityspirited action. It is these tenants who would be most likely to engage with the second part of the scheme and contribute to its successful implementation.

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Once the above steps have been taken, a situation will ideally be reached where + the Hausmeister+ will have a concrete sense of what sorts of help could be exchanged in GaardenOst; + a number of instances of tenants helping tenants will already have been facilitated; and + a group of community-spirited tenants will have been identified. On the basis of this, Chronos and the Hausmeister+ could invite the above-mentioned tenants to an exploratory meeting to scope out the idea of launching a system such as a time bank, as well as to determine whether and how it would need to be tailored for Gaarden-Ost. As mentioned previously, experience has shown that only 5-10 members are needed to run a successful time bank. If the preparatory steps as described before are well executed, then recruiting the necessary numbers should not prove difficult.

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Once the scheme is up and running and has established a track record of its own, other tenants could be informed of the benefits and invited to join. Indeed, the more members a time bank has, the more types of help and services it can offer and the more appealing the overall initiative becomes. Especially in a neighbourhood like GaardenOst, which suffers from a negative image as well as from tensions between different groups, the initiative would provide a powerful illustration that community-spirited action can bridge gaps and improve people’s lives, resulting in an extremely compelling story for Chronos.

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SOUTHWARK CIRCLE Southwark Circle is an innovative social support network set up by Southwark Council, the Department for Work and Pensions, Sky and Participle. It aims to enable members of the local community to provide and receive help with everyday tasks as well as reduce social isolation. To ensure that the initiative serves the community’s needs, it was co-developed with more than 250 older people and their families over the course of 18 months. For £10 per year, Southwark residents over the age of 50 can join the Circle, which is mediated via telephone and internet. Membership offers the opportunity to participate in a lively social calendar and to buy tokens which give access to a network of neighbourhood helpers. Helpers may be Circle members who also volunteer or non-members who are paid the London living wage for their time.

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Each token is equivalent to about an hour’s work and the help provided ranges from gardening and cleaning to computer lessons and general advice. The scheme thereby caters to otherwise unmet needs of the community. Members who are struggling with small everyday problems can get them fixed without having to pay large sums to commercial providers or turn to relatives or social services. Helpers can choose to be either voluntary or paid, which enables retired or unemployed people as well as active professionals to use their skills in a productive and appreciated manner. Southwark Circle attracted 700 members in the first year of operations and was widely covered in the media (e.g. by the BBC and the Economist), applauded by David Cameron in his 2009 Spring Conference speech, and featured by Nesta as one of the 25 outstanding case studies of the civic economy. Building on these early successes, the scheme has now been replicated in other areas such as Suffolk and Hammersmith & Fulham. 127


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PART 7: TELLING THE STORY

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“COMMUNICA TION IS AT THE HEART OF COMMUNITY” CEO MEG WHITMAN ON THE SUCCESS OF EBAY

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Communicating the various changes and initiatives recommended in this guide is of the utmost importance. As Meg Whitman put it whilst serving as CEO of eBay, “communication is at the heart of community”. In this section several key steps are outlined to ensure successful communication of the change process and thereby strengthen community in Gaarden-Ost as well as embark on the process of reaching out to other audiences that Chronos wishes to target. It should be stressed, however, that these steps do not aim to comprise a new communications strategy for all of Chronos’ business activities. The latter is a larger and longer-term project which is beyond the scope of this guide. Yet the steps described here will provide a foundation on which a new and compelling strategy can be built for Chronos in future.

THE CURRENT BRAND POSITION A neighbourhood brand is what remains top of the mind to people when they envision the place. It is a combination of emotional and intellectual reactions to all the different experiences, communications and behaviours people have encountered. One of the goals of the change process is of course to move Chronos’ properties in Gaarden-Ost from their current brand position, which tends to be rather negative, to a positive position. As described in Gewos’ 2008 study entitled “Vertiefungsuntersuchung für das Soziale StadtGebiet Gaarden-Ost“, Gaarden-Ost has a bad image within Kiel. The majority of households in GaardenOst that were interviewed in the course of the study indicated that friends and acquaintances who lived in other neighbourhoods had a negative opinion of Gaarden-Ost. The explanation provided for this lay in Gaarden-Ost’s social problems.

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In addition to the general issues facing GaardenOst, Chronos also has the branding challenge that many tenants feel that the situation in the neighbourhood was better in the past, before the city sold the properties. This double challenge means that the current brand position is at a very low baseline. Yet as described in section 5 in relation to service levels, starting from a low baseline also has its advantages, as improvements can be achieved relatively easily which will send out a powerful signal that change is afoot in Gaarden-Ost.

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FOCUSING ON THE CHANGE PROCESS Changing by doing is essential; the Chronos neighbourhood brand will not improve unless changes and initiatives are implemented in practice. Yet alongside this, it is crucial from a communications perspective to convey that all the changes and initiatives that take place are part of one single process. Initiatives may be very different in nature; removing bulky rubbish is a different sort of activity from organising a community lunch. Yet by bringing them all under one header and conveying that they are constituent parts of a single process, their overall communications impact is strengthened.

To elaborate on the third point: local residents are in many ways the most important users and experts of a neighbourhood brand. For that reason, defining and launching a neighbourhood brand without community input is not advisable. The case study of Helemaal Hoogvliet in the Netherlands in this guide illustrates how the community can be successfully engaged to rebrand a neighbourhood in need of improvement. On the other side of the coin, the case of Schwamendingen in Switzerland can be cited as an example where this approach was not adopted and led to a substantial amount of community irritation.

These considerations lead to a key premise of the overall communications strategy proposed: especially in the early stages of the refurbishment, it is advisable to focus on building the brand of the change process rather than attempting to build a new neighbourhood brand. There are a number of important arguments to support this approach: + Given that Chronos is directly in charge of the change process, it is well positioned to launch and manage the brand effectively. + If the change process brand is successfully implemented, this will also bolster the broader neighbourhood brand over time. + Attempting to implement a neighbourhood brand top-down eliminates the opportunity of doing so hand in hand with the community.

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CASE STUDY RECODE RECODE PART 7

GARTENSTADT SCHWAMENDINGEN

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Schwamendingen is a neighbourhood with a population of 28,000 in the north of Zurich which suffered from a negative image. Though local residents were positive about the area, outsiders viewed it as boring and unattractive. In order to improve this, Schwamendingen initiated a branding campaign and launched a new brand: GARTENSTADT SCHWAMENDINGEN.

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In addition, Schwamendingen joined the European Union IMAGE project. Since one of the main focal points of IMAGE was community participation, Schwamendingen organised a variety of project meetings with local people and launched a number of initiatives that were proposed, including “Tele Schwamendingen” (Zurich’s first neighbourhood TV channel), “New Pictures of Schwamendingen” (a photo competition), and “Circle 12” (a series of walks in the neighbourhood). All the initiatives were well received and supported by the community - yet the fact that the “Garden City Schwamendingen” brand had been predefined led to frequent complaints. The community felt irritated at not having been involved in defining the brand and also believed that the brand was not as effective as it could have been. Though the overall Schwamendingen project was evaluated as a success, the brand issue was identified as the single largest mistake that should have been avoided.


CASE STUDY PART 7

HELEMAAL HOOGVLIET Hoogvliet is a satellite neighbourhood located approximately 20 km from the centre of Rotterdam. Built in the 1960s and with a current population of around 30,000, Hoogvliet had problems with its negative image. While the local community viewed Hoogvliet as a pleasant place to live and valued it as a calm green location with strong social networks, the general perception in Rotterdam was that Hoogvliet was “loud and ugly”. In order to change this, the city of Rotterdam and housing associations Woonbron and Vestia launched a neighbourhood branding initiative. Neighbourhood branding is a methodology developed in the Netherlands to identify a neighbourhood’s image and determine what direction it should move towards together with local stakeholders.

RECODE

In the case of Hoogvliet, a research phase took place consisting of desk research and on-site conversations with the local community. The results of this phase fed into the so-called brand session, a three-day event similar to a Clear Village Lab where 70 representatives from a variety of stakeholder groups were brought together to work on Hoogvliet’s brand together with a group of facilitators and artists who visualised the findings. In the course of the session, the strengths and weaknesses of Hoogvliet were analysed and the five core values of the new neighbourhood brand were determined: home base, self-esteem, community, determined, adventure. In addition, each value was described in rational, emotional and aspirational terms and potential applications were identified. All the findings were then collated in the Hoogvliet Brandbook, a brand guide much like those developed in the corporate sector though with one key difference: the fact that the conclusions were not developed top-down but bottom-up together with local representatives. 135


RECODE PART 7

DEFINING THE CHANGE PROCESS BRAND Having said that the initial goal should be to build the brand of the change process rather than a new neighbourhood brand - which would be a much larger undertaking and should be done in close collaboration with the community - the next step is to define the change process brand. The different components of the brand build on the ideas described in this guide. In concrete terms this means that: + The brand is about change. The message is that change is afoot in Gaarden-Ost. + The brand is about the new terms of engagement of Respect, Allow and Ignite. +

The brand builds on the current strengths of the community - local identity, diversity and community spirit - and supports the forward-looking value of sustainability and future lifestyle.

All communications going forward around the change process and the various constituent initiatives should support the above messaging: that things are changing in the neighbourhood, that a new approach is in place, and that strengths are being built upon.

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As well as having consistent messaging around the change process, it is also valuable to provide a graphic identity. The following logo developed by Etikstudio is proposed: GARTEN OST.

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+

The logo is deliberately simple, employing two elementary shapes. The circle suggests inclusivity and completeness, whilst the dotted lines symbolise movement and connections to other parts of Kiel.

+

The text font is a composite based on the dotted line principle. The principle helps to bind together the different elements of the logo and also emphasizes the temporary nature of the change process brand.

+ The logo is deliberately abstract. The space in the centre goes against expectation by being blank and not providing a marketing visual or phrase. The only twist is provided by the textual change of Gaarden-Ost to Garten Ost, which is prompted by the finding in the Well-Being Analysis that one of the most valuable neighbourhood assets is the amount and potential of green spaces available. +

The logo does not intrude on the graphic identity of Chronos, Etikstudio or any other actors in the change process. It refers only to activities in Gaarden-Ost and different graphic identities can therefore work together.

+

The colour is bright. It stands for Vitamin For Concrete and was chosen to be visible from afar and provide a stark contrast to the generally grey buildings in Gaarden-Ost.


The graphic identity proposed here is a canvas that can be played with. It can work as a letterhead, sticker, news poster, notice board, and so on. The key point to bear in mind is that it should be used consistently. All communications around the change process should not only employ consistent messaging as mentioned before, but should also be framed within the same graphic identity. In this manner, the change process will become increasingly visible and recognisable to tenants and the brand will grow correspondingly stronger.

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RECODE PART 7

BUILDING UP STORY ASSETS Having a consistent messaging and visual framework means that all the stories that Chronos can share about changes and initiatives in GaardenOst will help to bolster the change process brand. Throughout this guide, suggested initiatives that are considered particularly compelling from a communications perspective are identified as stories. Implementing some or all of these initiatives will result in an impressive list of story assets for Chronos:

FLAT REFURBISHMENT

This is a story not simply about a landlord refurbishing apartments, but about doing so in a way that builds on the neighbourhood values. It is a story about anchoring local identity by providing more attractive homes in a challenged neighbourhood; about enhancing diversity by reaching out to different tenant groups that will help to restore and support the community fabric; and about incorporating sustainable solutions wherever possible.

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THE BIG TIDY OUTSIDE

The big tidy outside is a compelling story in two respects. Firstly it is about using the power of design to address everyday issues. Yet even more interestingly, it is about improving eco-literacy and building future lifestyles in a diversified community. Given that waste separation is a part of everyday identity in Germany, Chronos’ outreach to tenants in their own language is a powerful story of a landlord striving to enhance a neighbourhood whilst respecting its diversity.

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THE BIG TIDY INSIDE

The big tidy inside is particularly interesting if some of the more innovative components of the scheme are implemented. What is especially compelling about the story is that even though the point of departure is seemingly banal - indoor spaces that are cluttered with rubbish - the solution reaches far beyond that and incorporates close community involvement by letting tenants determine how to re-use the space, as well as a strong focus on sustainability by establishing a Gaarden-Ost swapshop. In short, what began as an annoyance to tenants is transformed into a communal asset.

SETTING AND MONITORING SERVICE TARGETS

As stated on Chronos’ website, Chronos is committed to transparency. This story shows that this does not only apply to Chronos clients but also to tenants. Whilst setting, monitoring and communicating service targets would not be unusual in an Anglo-Saxon context, it is special in Germany. This story is an illustration of Chronos applying best practice from abroad in a local context, for the benefit and well-being of tenants.

THE HAUSMEISTER+ PROGRAMME

This story is extremely powerful on a number of levels. It is about going the extra mile to provide tenants with quality service; about upgrading what is currently perceived as a low-level job with no opportunity for personal and professional growth; and about showing true commitment to the idea of life-long learning. Without a doubt, this is a story with the potential to reach not just a local but a national audience.


THE BIG L(A)UNCH

This is a story about a neighbourhood with serious challenges coming together in a simple act of community, friendship and fun facilitated by Chronos. As with the point about setting and monitoring service targets, this would not be so special in an Anglo-Saxon context, where initiatives such as the Big Lunch are well established, yet in Germany it would be novel. It is again an instance of Chronos as a global-local agent applying the best from abroad.

THE GREEN FLATS SCHEME

This is a story about a landlord showing commitment both to sustainability and to tenant well-being. It is also a story about creativity and innovation, as the scheme is low cost and extremely simple yet leads to the same results as more elaborate schemes. Depending on the actual impact and benefit for tenants, in terms of energy reduction and cost savings, this could be another story with the potential to reach a wide audience.

TENANTS HELPING WITH THE REFURBISHMENT

This is a story about members of a challenged community rolling up their sleeves and bringing about improvements to their neighbourhood themselves, supported by a landlord who appreciates the importance of community participation. The value of the story depends largely on the amount of tenant involvement. As more and more tenant initiatives are implemented, the story will become increasingly compelling.

TENANTS HELPING EACH OTHER

This is a story about members of a challenged community setting up an innovative system of everyday help to improve people’s lives, facilitated by a committed landlord. If a time bank (or a modified version thereof) is indeed set up in future and manages to attract a reasonable number of participants, this would be another story with powerful potential, especially in view of the fact that time banks are still very rare in Germany. And one final story that also deserves to be mentioned:

CHRONOS PARTNERING WITH CLEAR VILLAGE AND ETIKSTUDIO

Chronos’ long-term partnership with Clear Village and Etikstudio and the related goal to improve tenant well-being is a compelling story in itself, underlining Chronos’ commitment to tenants and embodying a novel approach to the landlord-tenant relationship, especially within the German context. The story will increase in value as the change process gathers pace and improvements start to become apparent in Gaarden-Ost. In order to render these story assets as valuable as possible, it is advisable to document each story as completely as possible. Whenever possible, film material should be developed, photos should be taken, and local testimonials and perspectives should be collected. The goal is to have a rich reservoir of material to ensure that the stories can be effectively brought to life and can be tailored for different audiences and channels.

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RECODE PART 7

TAILORING COMMUNICATIONS FOR DIFFERENT AUDIENCES Broadly speaking Chronos’ primary target audiences are: + Current tenants + Desired new tenants + Chronos clients and potential clients + Brand multipliers such as the press The story assets previously described are sufficiently compelling and multi-faceted to be used for all target audiences - but it goes without saying that they should be individually tailored for different groups, bearing in mind their different perspectives.

Š clear-village.org 2011

Current tenants will be more interested in the brand reality than the brand promise. They want to see concrete improvements to their neighbourhood. Bearing in mind the lack of trust and skepticism that has built up over the years, they will be less interested in innovative visions and future perspectives than in results. Story assets and other communications should be adapted to reflect this, focusing consistently on what has been achieved in the course of the change process rather than on the more visionary aspects. Brand multipliers are in many ways on the other side of the spectrum and will be more interested in the brand promise, i.e. the visionary aspects of the various initiatives that allow for a compelling story to be told. To provide an illustration of this: for current tenants the Hausmeister+ programme is primarily of interest if the Hausmeister+ is able to provide them with quality service and help them tackle everyday

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problems that could not be resolved in the past. Brand multipliers, on the other hand, will be more interested in the novel approach to life-long learning, the potential to enhance tenant well-being and the upgrading of a low-status job. Desired new tenants are in many respects in the middle. They will share the interest of the brand multipliers in the innovative components of the brand promise, yet like current tenants they will also want to have a sense of how this impacts the everyday brand reality. Differently put: their attention can be caught with the visionary aspect of the various initiatives (for instance: Chronos collaborating with tenants to redefine the use of indoor communal spaces), yet they should also be provided with a clear understanding of the day-today benefits this will bring for them (for instance: how they could then use these communal spaces). Chronos clients and potential clients also have a mixed perspective like the desired new tenants, though their primary interest will not be on the brand reality but on the connection between the brand vision and business results. This is a story which will need to be built over time. The goal in future is to be able to show a direct progression from the Gaarden-Ost change process, to enhanced tenant satisfaction, to bottom-line improvements in terms of raising rents, reducing vacancies, and lowering tenant turnover. In the interim, however, the focus can simply be on the first two elements of the equation: on how the change process improves life in Gaarden-Ost and tenant satisfaction.


REACHING OUT TO TARGET AUDIENCES The recommendations described thus far are to: brand the change process, use consistent messaging, apply a consistent graphic identity, build up a reservoir of story assets, and tailor stories for different audiences. By implementing these recommendations into its current communication channels (such as www.chronos-am.com) and activities (such as written communications to tenants), Chronos will substantially enhance its communication impact vis-Ă -vis its primary target audiences. To provide three illustrations of this: + Current tenants will understand that there is truly a process of change that will be ongoing and will incrementally improve their lives in Gaarden-Ost. + Desired new tenants will be attracted by the brand message rather than the current sales argument of low price. Indeed, given that low price is not part of the brand in any form or shape and given also that Chronos aims to draw new tenant groups to Gaarden-Ost, low price should no longer be used as the primary sales pitch. +

However, to reap maximum communication benefits from the change process, it may be of value to reexamine Chronos’ current communication channels and activities and determine (1) how successful they are at engaging target audiences and (2) how they can be enhanced and complemented to improve their communication impact. On the basis of these findings, a new communication strategy could then be developed and launched. As was mentioned at the start of this section, providing such a comprehensive new strategy is beyond the scope of this guide. This would be a substantial piece of work that would need to be developed hand in hand with Chronos. Yet in view of the significant potential benefits, it could be considered as an action item for Phase 3 of the partnership.

Chronos clients and potential clients as well as brand multipliers visiting the Chronos website will find compelling story material to support and strengthen Chronos’ unique selling points, such as customer focus and local local local.

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Š clear-village.org 2011


PART 8: THE PROCESS

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RECODE PART 8

© clear-village.org 2011

Throughout this guide, the approach has been to make a limited number of recommendations that allow Chronos to “do only a few things but do them well”. These recommendations can now be summarised in the following modular table: SECTION

RECOMMENDED MODULES

PART 2: BUILDING NEIGHBOURHOOD IDENTITY

Nourish the current neighbourhood values and add sustainability & future lifestyle

Embrace the new approach of Respect, Allow & Ignite

Incrementally address the issue of difficult tenants

PART 3: REFURBISHING APARTMENTS

Decide on desired new tenant groups for vacant apartments

Decide on basic, medium or larger interventions to apartments

Develop a refurbishment plan to improve other apartments

PART 4: IMPROVING COMMUNAL SPACES

Launch the Big Tidy outside to deal with the issue of rubbish

Launch the Big Tidy inside to remove bulky waste and clear up space

Prepare for follow-up process of co-designing improvements

PART 5: ENHANCING SERVICES

Establish a new baseline of services

Set and monitor service targets

Launch Hausmeister+ programme

PART 6: IGNITING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

Organise Big L(a)unch to bring the community together

Roll out Green Flats initative to support sustainability & future lifestyle

Tenant participation in the refurbishment and to help with everyday tasks

PART 7: TELLING THE STORY

Use new brand message and graphic identity for the change process

Build up story assets and tailor them for different audiences

Re-evaluate current communications channels and enhance if necessary

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Several points should be made regarding this overview of modular initiatives:

Based on these points, the following recommendations are made for next steps:

+ Many of the modules are optional. Whilst it is recommended to launch them all in due course, some could be postponed for reasons e.g. of cost or time investment.

+ Chronos and Etikstudio agree on which modules to implement in Phase 3 of their collaboration.

+ Though some modules could be postponed, it would nonetheless be advisable to implement at least some of them in every one of the target areas. By ensuring at least some progress in all aspects that impact tenant well-being (such as communal spaces, services, ignition activities, communications, and so on), tenants will have a sense that change is truly afoot in Gaarden-Ost and is being achieved on all fronts. + The modules are closely interlinked and support each other. For example: the Hausmeister+ is not only able to support the goal of higher service levels (section 5), but can also be a key actor in helping with communal spaces (section 4), organising ignition activities (section 6) and telling the story (section 7). It will be essential to bear this point in mind during the implementation process. Wherever possible, initiatives should be planned and rolled out in such a way as to achieve not only the obvious direct goal, but also to bring about improvements in other target areas.

+ An appropriate timescale and budget are determined by the partners for Phase 3 implementation. + Based on the above, Etikstudio works hand in hand with Chronos to develop a roll-out plan within a stipulated timeframe. Furthermore, in case the partners feel that any of the modules need to be refined or altered, Etikstudio will redevelop them and include them in the roll-out plan. + In line with the roll-out plan, Etikstudio and Chronos collaborate closely to ensure successful implementation of the agreed-upon modules and thereby to kickstart the change process in GaardenOst.

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RECODE

CONTACT CLEAR VILLAGE CHARITABLE TRUST Lime Wharf, Vyner Street London E2 9DJ +44 (0)20 8980 9019 Registered charity number 1142779 www.clear-village.org

THOMAS UGO ERMACORA Founder & Strategy Director thomas@clear-village.org +44 (0)75 0300 1345

ALICE HOLMBERG Operations & Development Director alice@clear-village.org +44 (0)75 4993 8840

FRANK VAN HASSELT

Š clear-village.org 2011

Project Leader & Communication frank@clear-village.org +49 (0)172 328 5901

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IMAGE SOURCES www.3.bp.blogspot.com; www.babybusiness.dk; www.britannica.com; www.cdc.gov; www.chemsys.in; www.christmasgifts.com; www.ezwebrus.com; www.farm4.static.flickr.com; www.studyglobal.net; www.healmylife.com; www.inloughborough.com www.joshandamyoettle.wordpress.com; www.kadrmasconcepts.com; www.media.photobucket.com; www.piperwindows.co.uk; www.raleighalumni.blogspot.com; www.savethechildren.org.uk; www.stijnstijl.nl; www.tenantriskverification.com; www.talknerdy2me.org; www.tattoodonkey.com; www.thebiglunch.com; www.trainbodyandmind.com; www.urbansplash.co.uk


Profile for CLEAR VILLAGE

Gaarden Ost Neighbourhood Identity Guide  

This report presents the Clear Village strategy for upgrading Gaarden Ost's identity.

Gaarden Ost Neighbourhood Identity Guide  

This report presents the Clear Village strategy for upgrading Gaarden Ost's identity.

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