Heist Op den Berg Civic Services Centre
Heist-op-den-Berg is a 43.000 inhabitant municipality near Antwerp. Its public services are currently dispersed over the town’s central area. This creates confusion and thresholds for the public and cumbersome logistics for its staff. In order to improve the quality and accessibility of the municipal services, and to make the administration run more efficiently, the municipality investigated the option to build one unified administrative center for Heist. VELD (urban designers), GRUE (landscape architecture) and Osmos were selected in through a design competition organised by the Flemish public architect (the ‘bouwmeester’) to realise this urban study while engaging the various stakeholders.
VELD developed scenarios for the realisation of a unified administrative centre. They courageously opened up the options to debate to alternative potentially relevant locations. Osmos supported in this scenario-based study by guiding VELD and the local municipality in the communication and engagement of stakeholders and interest groups.
Through guidance and a range of concrete actions we made sure inhabitants were informed and heard, while also facilitating the engagement of the municipal staff and council. Facing the beginning of the pandemic, Osmos supported the team in dynamically adapting the process. Through co-creation we made sure the municipality could maintain its exemplar position in respecting the often changing measures while being a watchdog on the authentic nature of the participation process.