City Of Ostend

For the City of Ostend we created a long-term vision on the increasingly complex societal problems they face. We went for a twofold approach that allowed us to anticipate the long-term challenges of 2050 while also thinking on concrete projects to reach the 2030 ambitions.

About the client

The City of Ostend is the largest coastal city in Belgium. Ostend is a cosmopolitan city with a harbour, yacht-basin, airport and over 50 hotels. It is a lively city, popular for its long beach promenade, musea, tourist attractions and many more. Given its unique location, Ostend focuses on developing a strong blue economy in and around the city.

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Project Objectives

- Establish an overarching, long-term vision for a future-proof city
- Creating a strategic framework for future city policy
- Create a strategic plan and roadmap, to deal with the major challenges the city will face in 2030 and 2050

Description

The City of Ostend was in need of an overarching transformation strategy to offer guidance on the strategic direction the city wants to evolve towards. This long-term plan had to function as a guideline for future decisions and policy making.

The city was looking for a long-term vision, because of the many, increasingly complex societal problems it faces (climate change, digital acceleration, mobility, urban planning, employment, multidiversity, social segregation…). The complexity of these wicked problems requires a holistic approach, with solutions that cover multiple challenges at once.

To face up to these challenges, the City of Ostend approached us to co-create a strategy with two horizons: 2030 and 2050. This twofold approach allowed us to anticipate the long-term challenges of 2050 on the one hand, and to start thinking on concrete projects to reach the 2030 ambitions on the other hand.

We organised webinars and round-table discussions for employees and stakeholders of the city to create broad awareness around the city’s challenges and urgency and to discuss the impact. In a series of workshops, we guided a smaller executive team towards a future vision, strategy and roadmap. We performed an impact analysis on key societal and technological trends. This was followed by strategy workshops, where we extensively discussed the vision on the future and the position Ostend wants to take in this future. Based on all the input and debates, this shared-by-all future vision 2030 and 2050 was co-created using several iteration moments. Lastly, we developed a roadmap 2025 on how to realise these ambitions. All workshops took place remotely because of Covid.

Outcome

- A 2050 vision for the city with objectives
- Ambitions for the city in 2030
- A framework to build and manage the 2025 roadmap towards the 2030 vision