Webinar | Citizen Participation Playbook – A roadmap to meaningful engagement

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On Wednesday, 27 May 2020, Colaborativa.eu presented the Citizen Participation Playbook. The webinar aimed at municipalities and other stakeholders interested in increasing citizen engagement through robust participative processes with special emphasis on smart cities and the energy transition challenge.

Meaningful citizen engagement is a challenge in any city-making process led by public institutions. As part of +Cityxchange, Colaborativa.eu has developed the Citizen Participation Playbook to help local authorities to empower local communities and lead the transformation towards Positive Energy Districts and Cities. This Playbook is more than a mere compilation of physical and online citizen participatory tools presenting a detailed roadmap of four distinctive citizen participatory processes including phases, steps, stakeholders and outcomes.

The webinar presented the Citizen Participation Playbook with current implementation cases in +Cityxchange as well as how to use it in your own municipality citizen engagement activities. You can find the full presentation for download here. Another question from the Q&A is answered in writing below:

Question from Begoña M: “Which is the greatest challenge you had to face in the project so far regarding citizen participation? How did you overcome it? Thanks for the webinar!”
Answer from Javi: “You are welcome, the most obvious one at the moment is COVID-19 and the big uncertainty of how it is going to impact citizen engagement in general and we don’t have previous references to learn from. One of the key aspects of our approach was to design an integrated process combining the best aspects of physical and online tools for better citizen engagement, with social distancing measures online tools get the main protagonism but some of these tools are not great for handling the entire participatory process by themselves as well as the important limitations regarding digital literacy and accessibility from underrepresented groups –which we are experiencing severely in education at the moment. Aside for that, one of the challenges we found at the beginning is a bit of misunderstanding on the scope and ambition on citizen participation from some people in municipalities which think that interaction with citizens is always negative and messy, putting together robust roadmaps in which municipal expert voices are kept while citizens input can enrich the project was our way to try to overcome those initial reactions. Anyway, thanks for joining in!”


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