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Participation platforms for citizens

E government

Participation platforms for citizens

Participation platforms can be used to continuously involve citizens in municipal decision-making processes. The platforms act as a central place where citizens can find information about construction or redesign projects. The project locations can be displayed on a map, where citizens can submit and discuss wishes or suggestions with a spatial reference. In this way, opportunities for participation can be created both at the beginning of a construction project and in later phases, and traditional on-site participation formats can be supplemented. The use of a participation platform not only makes it possible to inform citizens about various projects over longer periods of time, but also establishes a place with recognition value that creates trust and thus promotes continuous participation. Cities that successfully use participation platforms include Hamburg and Barcelona.

Sustainability check: How do participation platforms for citizens help?

  • Central point for providing information to citizens
  • Citizens are experts on their own environment and provide valuable suggestions
  • Fewer conflicts between different actors in construction processes due to increased transparency and opportunities for co-design
  • Improved trust in institutions and political processes
  • The recognition value of the portal promotes continuous participation, citizens know the process and have the opportunity to participate in various projects at a low threshold
  • Online participation as a supplement to local participation formats in order to reach other target groups, if applicable

Requirements: What is needed for participation platforms for citizens?

  • Participation platform: There are already proprietary and open source applications that can be adapted
  • If necessary, an information campaign to make citizens aware of new participation opportunities
  • Personnel and time resources, e.g. for evaluating the contributions

Our rating:

The establishment of a participation portal offers the opportunity to strengthen citizens' trust in local government in the long term. In order to maximize this potential, both personnel and time resources must be created for the support of the portal and the procedures, and it must be made transparently comprehensible to what extent the participation of citizens has an influence on the final result of the respective project. The user-friendliness of the portal should be taken into account when establishing it, in order to make its use as low-threshold as possible. An online participation portal should not replace other, especially analog, participation formats, but serves as a supplementary measure for target groups that are more difficult to reach with traditional participation formats. Online participation makes it easier to involve younger citizens in particular. In order to draw the attention of as many citizens as possible to the opportunities for participation, municipalities should use a variety of methods to draw attention to the procedures. From posters in public spaces to letters in the post to municipal social media channels and local media, there are many possibilities here, which should ideally be used simultaneously.

Which SDGS are addressed?

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.

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Associated challenge(s)

(The) Challenge(s) that can be overcome with the help of this solution.
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Encourage citizen participation

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