Participative process for mobility/transport strategy development

Basic Information


English, German

Latest update



Application time

strongly depends on the complexity of the issues for which a strategy is being developed

Assistance required

facilitation of the process is advised

Tool type

Method / Approach

Application area

  • Analysis, scenarios and measure selection

Target Audience

  • Rural areas
  • Small cities
  • Medium-sized cities
  • Large cities
  • Metropolitan regions
  • Other


Stakeholder involvement is a key element of identifying, evaluating and prioritising future user needs, new transport concepts, implications and potential reactions from society. Collaborations and exchange are needed across a diverse stakeholder group from various sectors and perspectives to develop efficient solutions and tap the full potential of new opportunities. Most importantly, users will have to be directly involved in a bottom-up approach. Hence, it is required to bring together a very diverse stakeholder group with a variety of individual interest to discuss a rather complex topic. A process that enables such a group to develop a common language and vision and to discuss collaboration potentials has been refined and implemented by the project Mobility4EU. The process described here is the story map methodology that provides a creative and interactive tool. It can be combined with other scientific consultation and assessment methodologies or stand on its own. In the present case the process towards building an action plan is described. It can however be flexibly be adapted to deliver a vision only or derive other strategic output as a roadmap or action plan.

So-called story maps (David Sibbet, Visual Leaders: New Tools for Visioning, Management, and Organization Change. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ, 2012.) are a rather comprehensive approach of graphic visualisation in the context of strategy development. Large murals or a series of posters are created that represent e.g. the history of a problem, challenges and opportunities, individual values and expectations. Typically, it contains a context map, a commonly drawn picture of the future vision and a roadmap describing the action plan for achieving that vision. This approach supports the alignment of goals in a participatory manner. The graphic visualisation of information (e.g. on posters) is a successful way to interactively facilitate group work. It is particularly powerful in strategic planning processes where new insights shall arise from the engagement and cooperation of many participants with diverse backgrounds. Drawing a big picture of a problem during a meeting can reveal relationships between different aspects and perspectives. It thereby helps to think in systems and to align the understanding of all group members. Furthermore, it creates a memorable product that everybody sees being created. This strengthens the participants’ relation with the outcome, helps them to tell the story about the plan and supports the implementation of follow-up actions.


Good Example

Previously, VDI/VDE-IT has used graphic visualisation tools for creating the technology roadmap "European Roadmap Smart Systems for Automated Driving, 2015" in a consultation processes involving multiple stakeholders from the European Technology Platform EPoSS. Recently, the toolhas been used to create an action plan for user-centered and multimodal transport in 2030 within a multi-stakeholder process within the project Mobility4EU. A multitude of stakeholder groups covering all transport modes from supply and demand side and especially representatives of users has been engaged into the consultation process. Step by step, the action plan has been created by interactively working on the story map within dedicated workshops which can be referred to in detail in the respective reports. The path along the different stages of the story map towards the action plan in the case of the project Mobility4EU, namely the context map, the opportunity map, the vision and action plan, is esplained in more detail in the respective reports and deliverables.


Gereon Meyer and Beate Müller, VDI/VDE Innovation und Technik

Lead of the tool development: Mobility4EU

beate.mueller [at]
European Mobility Week
Smart Cities Marketplace
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