From environmental vision updates to public space renovations, and from city planning to innovative strategies for climate action – our clients are continuously breaking new ground. Let a fresh set of examples spark ideas for your community engagement efforts.
These inspiring stories illustrate the potential of CitizenLab’s platform to help you tap into the collective intelligence of your community, leading to more inclusive and effective decision-making.
Taunusstein invites residents to help optimize its local administration (Germany)
Have you ever wondered why certain procedures in your city administration operate the way they do? You may have even found yourself frustrated with them at times. The City of Taunusstein is committed to addressing this by improving its services, and has reached out to its residents for their input.
The city launched a representative survey using their CitizenLab built-in survey tool to identify service areas for optimization. The respondents for this survey were carefully selected at random from the population register, following specific criteria to ensure a representative cross-section of the population.
This initiative is a brilliant example of a city administration valuing the opinions and experiences of its residents.
The final results of this survey and subsequent measures will be published between September 30, 2023, and December 31, 2023. This transparency about the process demonstrates the city’s commitment to improvement and keeps residents informed and engaged, further enhancing the relationship.
Evergem doubles its participatory budget for community-led projects (Belgium)
What could your community do with a budget of €70,000 euros? The Municipality of Evergem wants to find out. After a successful initial round of participatory budgeting in 2020, the municipality doubled the budget this year, allowing residents to submit their ideas for community projects via their CitizenLab engagement platform, Wijmakenevergem.be.
Residents had until the end of February 2023 to present their project ideas. These ideas were then transformed into concrete project proposals, which were first screened by a jury.
The initiative has sparked a wealth of creative proposals. Among the nine selected by an independent jury, options include setting up a girls’ soccer team, organizing activities to foster social cohesion among longtime and newcomer residents, and establishing a community pantry for less privileged community members.
Residents could vote for their top three projects via the website until May 31, 2023, and they were invited to present to the jury. The jury is now evaluating the projects. Each project has to receive a minimum score of 25/50 to receive funding. A combined score of public votes and jury evaluation determines the final allocation. The funds will be distributed from the highest to lowest-scoring projects. We’re excited to see the results!
Harderwijk invites residents to shape their city through participatory budgeting (Netherlands)
“Do you have a good idea? Do something with it!” That is the rallying call for the Stadsidee 2023 campaign in Harderwijk, Netherlands. Now in its eighth edition, this campaign is designed to help make neighborhoods, districts, villages, or even the entire city more beautiful, enjoyable, and livable.
For their participatory budgeting project, a budget of €45,000 euros has been allocated. After the submission period ended, residents could vote on their favorite idea, deciding the winner.
To promote comprehensive planning, the city asked residents to include an initial cost estimate and garner neighborhood support for their proposed idea. If an idea wins, it will be implemented under the leadership of the proposer, with expert support from the municipality.
A jury reviewed all submitted projects before they were put to a vote. From 17 to 31 May, 2023 residents could choose from ten shortlisted ideas. Over 1,742 people participated in this democratic exercise. The winning idea for 2023 – securing almost half of the votes – was a BMX/skate/step track. This initiative aims to create a multifunctional public space for sports, play, and social interaction.
Lejre invites residents’ input for Planning and Sustainability Strategy 2023 (Denmark)
Lejre Municipality in Denmark is taking steps towards becoming a climate-neutral and climate-robust region by 2050, with a targeted reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2030. Given that a third of the municipality is covered by landscape conservation areas with significant natural, cultural, and historical value, this presents challenges for initiatives such as afforestation and placement of technical facilities.
To navigate these challenges, the municipality has turned to its residents and collected their input for the Planning and Sustainability Strategy 2023 using a CitizenLab engagement platform. They have outlined four key areas for residents to consider: energy production, urban development, future agriculture, and forests and nature. Questions posed to residents included where new energy production facilities should be situated, what types of housing the municipality needs, and where these should be built.
Over 350 residents participated in the online project. To further facilitate this dialogue, the municipality will host a series of community meetings throughout autumn to continue the conversation.
Afterward, the municipality will process all input and prepare a proposal, which will then be put up for approval by the Municipal Board.
Arica opens an application form for adjusting the cost of household waste services (Chile)
In an innovative and creative use of the CitizenLab platform, the Municipality of Arica in Chile has provided a space for residents to apply for an exemption or reduction on their household waste tax.
While this application process differs from a typical consultation you might expect to find on an engagement platform, the municipality is leveraging it to not only facilitate the process, but also raise awareness of the platform itself. The project is publicly available, and while the municipality could have opted to ask residents to sign up, creating an opportunity to easily reengage them in future consultations via an invitation to participate email from within the platform, they chose to allow residents to apply without registering, to keep the barrier to participation low.
This initiative showcases how a municipality can use an engagement platform like CitizenLab in diverse ways, both for gathering input on policies and for providing valuable services to residents.
Shared Inspection Framework for ELC Services, including childminding and school-aged childcare (United Kingdom)
In Scotland, the Care Inspectorate and Education Scotland are collaboratively developing a shared inspection framework for Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) services, including childminding and school-aged childcare. The new joint framework will replace two separate ones.
The organizations have invited stakeholders to contribute their insights and perspectives on a series of questions: whether they supported the development of a shared quality framework, what the possible benefits and challenges to implementing such a system are, whether this would meet the needs of the sector, and which settings and children’s age groups the framework should apply to.
They are using the poll feature on their CitizenLab engagement platform to ask four short questions, seeking to understand what is most important when considering the development of a shared inspection framework.