SPARCS City Forum webinar on Citizen Engagement
25 february 2021 | Location: Leipzig, Reykjavik, Lviv
Citizen Engagement

Monday 15th of June, SPARCS organised an internal webinar for partners and stakeholders from Lighthouse and Fellow cities. The webinar focused on Citizen engagement, one of the key points of the project. First, Pieter Bult from Fraunhofer gave an introduction explaining the rise of awareness for citizen engagement in urban planning and the role & impact it plays in the SPARCS project.After that, it was time to hear from real-life experiences in SPARCS cities.

Lviv’s Dzvenyslava Chelepis presented their successful transition towards eGovernment, and although both citizens and municipal representatives sometimes need some time to adapt, a large part of the population finds its way to the municipal services online. Yuliya Boiko from the Council Secretariat of the Lviv city council followed with a presentation on public budgeting in Lviv, where projects are funded after a public voting process. Participation in voting in 2019 rose to 13.4% of the total eligible population of Lviv, corresponding with 103 726 citizens.

On the other side of Europe, Sigurlaug Johansdottir showed us Reykjavik´s democratic processes in city planning. Through the My-district platform, 696 projects have been executed since 2012 and 91 more will be implemented this summer. Although the city experiences the project as labour intensive, “it gives great value in the ‘discussion’ when the ideas are reviewed within the administration and gives both administration and politics a feel for the districts; how the people feel and what they need”. A joyful presentation by Andri & Bjork of the service design team in Reykjavik showed us insights in the Green House. They also shared that getting engaged with city development was trendy in Reykjavik, which may sound like a dream to others.

Mary Uhlig from Leipzig emphasised the need for engagement processes on multiple scales (city strategy, neighborhood development, street implementation) and levels (information, consultation, involvement & co-production). There was so much to tell & show, that a double amount of time could’ve been filled as well. Alessandro Colombo, from the SPARCS research partner SPI closed the webinar by presenting the Glossary of the Quality Assessment Template and giving further input and showcasing different ways of engaging with citizens.

We hope that all participants gained a lot of valuable insights and learned something new during our webinar! If you want to read more about citizen engagement in SPARCS and its cities, please visit our website.

Please find all the presentations and videos of the webinar below.