The implementation of the new UMTS standard leads necessarily to a large number of new sites for mobile phone base stations. In many communities, citizens’ action groups have been established; the information on siting strategies is valued to be inadequately and not in time by citizens and representatives of the communities, and their fears and anxieties are not considered to be taken into account sufficiently. They regard the communication strategy of the providers and the public authorities as not transparent, claim clear decision structures and the inclusion of the respective concerned actors.
Against this background, it is one central task to strengthen transparency for the public regarding the processes of siting decisions and to strengthen access to background information. On the other hand, strategies for the improvement of the co-ordination processes have to be further developed, which are able to contribute to the mitigation or even to the prevention of a conflict.
By highlighting the processes of conflict resolution and co-ordination of siting decisions of mobile phone base stations, the project will contribute to an objective debate on this topic, and to an improvement of the on site coordination processes between all participating actors (citizens, communities, providers of mobile phone technologies).
In the course of the 15 month project DIALOGIK will first provide a literature-guided, evaluated overview of the literature and media reporting regarding siting conflicts in the area of mobile phone base stations. Especially the application of existing handbooks (on conflict resolution procedures lead by communities and providers), and, accordingly, the application of different communication and participation instruments will be analysed. On this basis, ‘typical’ conflict cases will be selected for more in depth case studies. Concerned actors, their interests and the general conditions will be identified and related to the different phases of the so called ‘Traffic Light Model’. Additionally, a selection of these case studies will be chosen for focussed and partly-structured interviews with the representatives of the concerned actors. These interviews have the aim to highlight the controversial issues, the scope of action, and general conditions of the actors as well as additional influencing factors. Finally, the project team will compile a manual on conflict resolution in the field of siting conflicts on mobile phone base stations which will refer to insights of the previous project phases.