While certain forms of citizen participation, such as elections, are formally regulated, there are also regulations for informal forms of participation, particularly at the state and local levels. Studies show that the involvement of citizens through such procedures can lead to a reduction in conflicts, which often accompany construction projects such as town planning or road building projects. They also increase trust in political processes and institutions. But enabling participation and expanding participation opportunities requires personnel and temporal resources.
In addition to formal participation processes such as elections, informal participation processes offer further opportunities for citizens to shape their own communities.
These should be created as part of a holistic participation strategy. The traceability of individual processes must be ensured so that citizens can see in retrospect to what extent their participation has influenced the subsequent results. Successful participation processes also ultimately create genuine room for citizens to make decisions.
In order to create globally sustainable structures, the member states of the United Nations have set themselves 17 goals by 2030, which are set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.