We learned from our customers that there is not a one-size-fits-all solution to capture citizen feedback. You want to make use of the mechanism that optimally serves the needs of your participatory design. That’s why we want to present you to the four different ways in which you can collect citizen input using the CitizenLab platform.

1. Idea wall

The first mean is the core of CitizenLabs: ideas. Citizens can easily add their proposal by giving it a title, description, image, category, and – if relevant – location, attachment and/or neighbourhood. Other users have the possibility to help enrich the proposals by commenting and can vote for or against the ideas. To facilitate the moderation for the city, there’s a status management system built in on CitizenLab at idea level.

In order to increase the quality of the output and make it fit with projects the city is currently working on, admins can create projects to which ideas can be added. By making use of timeline, a project can be divided into multiple phases with each their own behavior. In the one phase you might prefer give your citizens an unlimited number of votes, whereas in others you might want to restrict the number of votes to make them pick their preferred proposal.

Use case: The city of Liège collected near to 1.000 ideas from their citizens on how they envision the future of the city… in just two months and a half time. A categorisation of the ideas into collaborative city, energy transition, mobility, arts and culture, and some others will help them process the ideas.

Idea wall

2. Interactive maps

Our civic engagement platform is optimized for geographical segmentation. Both neighborhoods and project boundaries can be mapped precisely. In case a project has a particular geographical scope, the admins can draw the perimeter of the project and set that scope.

If you choose for the maps as an input mode for your project, citizens will be able to drop a pin with their idea within the predefined area. They can also filter the ideas on the map per topic and easily navigate through the different pins of ideas.

Use case: The city of Hasselt used CitizenLab to make their citizens co-create the renovated Kapermolenpark, Hasselt’s biggest park in the city. In a few months time, over 150 ideas were collected on a dynamic map of the park.

Dynamic maps

3. Surveys

A third mechanism that proves to be useful to capture citizens feedback are surveys. On the CitizenLab platform, a participation project exhibits a timeline with multiple phases. For every phase, the city government can specify the way in which the citizen can interact. Can citizens add proposals and ideas? Can they vote on proposals? Is there an open discussion on proposals from others? How can they vote? Surveys are one of the possible ways of to interact within a participation project.

There are a lot of good survey tools available, so we didn’t want to invent yet another one. We offer integrations with excellent existing survey tools, and seamlessly embed their surveys within the platform.

Use case: The municipality of Kortenberg runs a big survey on CitizenLab that aims at capturing the citizens’ satisfaction about the town. Consequently, they will use this input to formulate a precise context in which citizens can add their proposals for the future of Kortenberg.


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