• Integration

    City-municipality cooperation, youth, and internationals

  • Make participationmeetings sexier and more accessible 

    Participationmeetings and political events are targeted at the ‘usual suspects’ and the people who already have all the know-how. We see that this is not appealing for the big majority in Wageningen. However, participation is becoming increasingly more important with big challenges we face such as energy transition, warmth transition and the plans for the environment and planning act. We therefore commissioned a study on the participation of young adults in participation events, and this was downright bad. In particular at events that relate to sustainability, we think this is unjustifiable. We understand that nobody wants a windmill or solar park in their backyard, but these are not the people that will undergo the consequences of climate change.  

  • Priorities

    • Make participation meetings more sexy and accessible
    • Make important information available to more people
    • Introduction meeting for new inhabitants of Wageningen
    • Create more meeting moments in Wageningen
    • Release the new welcome package for new inhabitants permanently
    • Language classes affordable for everyone
  • Context

    Our theme on integration is unique in Wageningen. The municipality does not have any policy programmes for the promotion of integration and it does not occur as an independent chapter in the election program of other parties as well. Sometimes it appears as something that has to be taken into account, but a separateobjective is missing. We have been working on this ourselves for a while. Mainly to promote integration in Wageningen, Connect Wageningen was founded. We see 4 trends in our city: 


    1. The university is gathering all her activities on the campus, such as the assembly hall isalso sold. This reduces the contact between university and city. Connect Wageningen tries to keep and expand these connection.  
    2. There are fewer and fewer informalmeeting moments between different groups in the city. For example, campus plaza makes students come into contact with others less because they can now go to the campus for take out and meals. That is why we need to keep the meetingmoments between all sections of the population alive.  
    3. Youth and students live in separate worlds more and more. Open parties are not really open anymore and also the mensa is not a neighbourhood activity anymore. We need to maintain the connection between youth in our city. 
    4. Although Wageningen has a lot of inhabitants with an international background, this is not visible in the Wageningenpolitics or the city centre of Wageningen. We want to make sure that theinternational character of Wageningen will emerge more in the city centre butalso in politics.  
  • Priorities further explained

    Make important information available to more people 

    We work for an inclusive and international community. The municipality has to share more important information, and less pictures of alderman. By making important information available in English we can also involve the international community more. Right now people in the city centre get a letter for the 5th may in dutch to ask them to move their car. We know that cars owned by non-dutch reading people are often not moved because of this. The spatial data report register is also not well-known and not available in English. This is unfortunate, because these type of websites gives us the information that is needed to improve Wageningen.  

    broken image

    Introductory meeting for new residents of Wageningen

    In addition to language courses, Connect Wageningen also wants to establish introductionmeetings for new inhabitants. This is already happening in different municipalities and it is a big success! An introduction about the city Wageningen, a tour through the city, and an information market can already contribute much to relax the integration in Wageningen. We did already take the first steps with the welcome package we arranged.  


    Create more occasions for Wageningers to meet 

    Such as an annual open day on campus and a welcome meeting for new inhabitants (non-students). We would like to see more uniting events in Wageningen. A trend is happening in the Netherlands where people individualise more and are less involved in society. That also causes the association- and union life to become less active, and we go to a ‘you pay we deliver’ society. We would like to see more events such as a welcome meeting for new (non-student) inhabitants and more cultural exchange moments, such as the Hello Wageningen! event. In addition, the campus deters many people, while it is such a big part of Wageningen.  


    Release the new welcome package for new inhabitants permanently 

    Since 2018 we are busy establishing a welcome package for new inhabitants of Wageningen.This welcome package is extremely important for Wageningen, because we can show the annual 3000 new inhabitants Wageningen. The faster they get to know the city centre, the more they feel involved and visit the centre again. That is of course good for the businesses in the town and for the connection with the city. Moreover, we want to connect this to registering in the municipality. This way we can make sure more people register in Wageningen, and that in its turn provides extra income from the land. It is also important to keep track of the registrations for fire safety. In the past 4 years we arranged that the municipality of Wageningen provides the welcome package to new inhabitants from January 1st 2022. This test will run for a year and we would like to see the welcome package become a keeper.  

    broken image

    Language classes affordable for everyone 

    Wageningenis known for her international character with according to the mayor 135 different nationalities. For an inclusive Wageningen it is essential that everyone can understand each other. It would be of great value to internationals to be able to follow cheap Dutch courses or improve their English. This will reduce the loneliness among internationals and improve their integration due to more social contacts. Also for people from Wageningen this will be a nice addition by providing cheap dutch reading- and writing courses to illiterate people, or by improving their English skills or another language. By comprehending each other better, we can understand each other better.  


     Four years ago the student grants were just abolished a year. A consequence was that students did not register in Wageningen anymore. The municipality misses out on a lot of money this way, because the municipality gets resources from The Hague per inhabitant. The money was needed the last few years because the municipality of Wageningen fell short on resources most of the years. Connect Wageningen came with the idea to make a welcome package to welcome every new inhabitant. After 3 years the moment was there and our idea got through the council. Together with the businesses of Wageningen we compiled a package. This is the new welcome package of Wageningen. Welcome!  

  • Achievements 2018-2022

    Commissioner for research into participation for the regional energytransition 

    Everyone is in favor of using the university’s knowledge. However, no one is critical on how the municipality uses this in the real world. By being the client for investigation ourselves we learned from this, and we can use this knowledge to let the municipality be a client more often. In this case we asked 2 teams of master students to conduct research on the participation of youth at the regional energy strategy. We concluded that the municipality made mistakes here. There are good ways to improve this, see the flyers below.  

    Website and communication municipality bilingual! 

    The most important thing for citizens to get involved in society is language. Becauseone sixth of the citizens of Wageningen was not born in the Netherlands it is important that we also communicate well in English. Due to the costs we are not in favor of translating everything. However, the most important cases should be easily accessible. The municipality has minimally performed one of our motions, but with the new website on its way things are improving. Yay! 

    Commissioner for research on alternative energy sources in the regional energystransition.  

    Everyone is in favor of using the university’s knowledge. However, no one is critical onhow the municipality uses this in the real world. . By being the client for investigation ourselves we learned from this, and we can use this knowledge to let the municipality be a client more often. In this case we asked a team of bachelor students to conduct research on alternative energy resources for the regional energy strategy. We concluded that it seems to be difficult to make use of this until 2030, and we will mostly rely on solar and wind power. In 2050 it should be possible to make use of this.   


    Citycouncil called back for participation at solarfield Haarweg 

    The participation for the solarfield at the Haarweg was also very bad. The directconnected neighbourhood was not involved, probably because students live there. Neighbourhood on the other side of the project were, however, extensively taken into account. More chances were created for students to participate and give their input because of us. Hopefully the municipality has learned a lesson on this matter.   


    Organisation of Hello, Wageningen! 

    As part of connecting we organize a meeting during the One world week with the mayor andcouncil members for all students and internationals in Wageningen.


    Pursued for international school Kortenoord 

    From the beginning of our city council period we got involved for an internationalschool in Kortenoord. Based on studies from 2014 there would not be enough demand for this. For the time being the international school in Arnhem stays the closest by.    


    Welcome package arranged for new inhabitants 

    We committed to creating a welcome package for new inhabitants in the municipalityof Wageningen. Almost 10% of the citizens is new every year. To get those people involved in Wageningen as quickly as possible we think a welcome package can help. The intention is that the package gets filled together with businesses from Wageningen. The nice shops in Wageningen get more known, and the bustling city will be a nice addition to our centre.