In a time of urban transformation and digitalisation of smart cities, too little attention is sometime given to citizens. Citizen Focus Action Cluster strongly believes in citizens as fundamental actors for the regeneration and development of smart cities. Civic engagement, empowerment, participation and co-creation are at the basis of our advocacy approach since we acknowledge that citizen voice can be pivotal in providing the demand-side pressure on government, service providers and organisations needed to encourage full response to citizen needs.
It also ensures the setup of a trusted and sound relationship with local governments and a source of democratic legitimacy and transparency. In the context of smarter cities, citizens understanding of concrete problems and challenges can help local governments prioritise and respond consistently to inhabitants’ need.
Central to the Citizen Focus approach are:
◼︎ Civic engagement, empowerment and participation
◼︎ Inclusion of citizens and disadvantaged communities
◼︎ The power of people to transform places and outcomes (smart housing, smart urban solutions, participatory budgeting, and crowdsourcing)
◼︎ Civic Leadership – benefiting from citizen engagement actions to deliver solutions
◼︎ Social Housing and transition to low carbon communities
◼︎ Learning and sharing from the world-wide frontrunners in citizen engagement
Since 2014, Citizen Focus has been actively engaged in the EU arena, promoting and participating to mutual learning and networking efforts with key stakeholders and EU and national policy-makers. Main collective achievements to date:
Inclusive Smart Cities: a European Manifesto on Citizen Engagement – endorsed by more than 120 public and private sectors representatives. Click here to endorse!
Preliminary analysis of citizen engagement measures implemented in selected Ambassador Cities – on-going