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Experiences

Highly Citizen Territory

  • France
  • City of Mulhouse
Highly Citizen Territory aims to foster a dynamic of continuous improvement of democracy in the territory by enhancing democratic practices, by designing a shared vision in medium-term, by enabling a strategy to move towards the realization of this vision and experimenting collectively co-decided actions.

Description

Background

Generally speaking, France has a representation crisis. Democracy must be rethought in order to place citizens at the heart of public action, giving them the means to express themselves, to express ideas, to participate. In 2014, the first "Citizen Forum" was organized which enabled rich exchanges, for two days, around 19 workshops on local issues and whose goal was to invent new ways of living together.

The approach continued. In 2015, the city of Mulhouse joined the program "Highly Citizen Territory," supported by the "Open Democracy" association, in order to ensure a democratic transition. Mulhouse is the first experimental territory of the method of creating a new mode of governance based on creating participatory spaces for true co-construction of the city.

Goal

The goal is to install a dynamic of continuous improvement of democracy in the territory by enhancing democratic practices, by designing a shared vision in medium-term, by enabling a strategy to move towards the realization of this vision and experimenting collectively co-decided actions. Naturally, an evaluation device is provided. Evaluations will be conducted by citizens, experts and external experts aiming to determine the real effects of actions on territory citizenship.

Implementation

The first action is to open up spaces for citizens. Children, teens and elders can, for example, would ask to integrate ad-hoc councils. Commissions have been open, like "Priority Security Zones", "Handicap", "Finance". Naturally, a call was made for citizens to join the citizen council, or the Sustainable Development Council.

The second action is to contribute to the local community life through the platform "Mulhouse is you" which is a digital collaboration tool for information, consultation and cooperation. Citizens can give their views on urban projects and submit their ideas in a "suggestion box". Once an idea has obtained 250 votes, the city agrees to examine it. Finally, this platform can reach the community and engage with others to improve living together in Mulhouse.

Results

The process, initiated in 2015, is in a consolidation phase. It is enriched from 2016 through the creation of an agency of citizen participation in order to mobilize more Mulhouse inhabitants. As a result, a community of citizens committed to live better together is in process to form at Mulhouse.

Experience acquired on the website of the International Observatory of Mayors on Living Together.