Webinar on 27 May: Citizen participation playbook

+CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook helps local authorities to enable local communities on how they could become a Positive Energy Block (PEB) and lead the transformation towards Positive Energy Districts (PEDs) and Cities.

Meaningful citizen engagement is a challenge in any city-making process led by public institutions, and a key element for the success of +CityxChange. For this reason, +CityxChange Framework for Bold City Vision identifies citizen engagement as one of six main interlinked processes in which +CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook provides new forms of deliberation and localization of the democratic process.

+CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook is not a mere catalog of physical and online participatory tools, but a detailed roadmap of four distinctive citizen participatory processes to co-design Positive Energy Blocks and Districts including phases, steps, stakeholders, outcomes together with a set of seven physical tools and seven online tools. This provides an integrated and synchronized approach to citizen participation capable of adapting to the notable diversity of the LHCs and FCs participating in +CityxChange. The four processes are:

  • Process 1: Co-design of urban interventions. A co-creating process in which municipalities together with citizens, researchers, professionals and private stakeholders can plan and design physical interventions in cities.
  • Process 2: Collaborative Legislation. Collaborative process in which all stakeholders can actively participate in preparing municipal legislation and action plans.
  • Process 3: Participatory budgeting. A citizen participatory process in which the local community decides how to allocate part of a municipal budget.
  • Process 4: Citizens Proposals. Enables direct and bottom-up citizen participation in which any individual and/or organization can submit an initiative to municipalities.

+CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook is supported by six best practices for effective citizen participation distilled after an analysis of other smart city projects, European Commission Initiatives and other organizations. These best practices are: (1) Define the community, (2) Clear purpose and front-loading, (3) Continuous engagement: capacity building and feedback, (4) open process, open-source and open data, (5) Co-design, co-create and co-produce, and (6) Privacy by design.

The processes within the Playbook integrate seven physical tools: (1) Narrative tours, (2) Co-design workshops, (3) Focus working groups, (4) Public Engagement Events, (5) Go and find citizens, (6) Mapping sessions and (7) Gamification. Each tool has different target groups, methodologies and requires different levels of participation from citizens. The Playbook includes implementation guidelines and references to practical examples for each tool.

The above physical tools are used in conjunction with seven online tools: (1) Collaborative Text, (2) Online Debate, (3) Online Mapping, (4) Online Voting, (5) Accountability, (6) Online Proposals and (7) Participatory Budgeting. The description of each of these tools includes a list of recommended software applications distilled from the analysis of more than 35 applications.

The Playbook has been developed by analysing previous experiences on citizen participation shared by smart city projects, EU initiatives and other European organizations (NGOs, municipalities and experts), and combining insights of the Lighthouse Cities and Follower Cities on citizen participation. This work allowed comparative analysis on citizen participation between all the different municipalities and formed a solid foundation for the development of this Playbook.

+CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook is part of the +CityxChange portfolio of community co-creation measures defined by +CityxChange Framework for Bold City Vision Guidelines, and Incentive Schemes created to promote the development of PEBs and PEDs. Download the report here. 

The Citizen Participation Playbook will be presented in a webinar by Colaborativa.eu on Wednesday, 27 May 2020, at 10 AM CET. To get informed how to register and connect, please sign up for our newsletter below.

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