Local institutions for civic participation, participatory budgeting and planning, inclusion of youth and migrants

Case-Based Contribution to Chapter 9: Democratizing GOLD VI Report on Pathways to urban and territorial equality


Authors: Adrià Duarte, Amanda Fléty and Jaume Puigpinós 


Democratizing Local and regional governments have been at the forefront of a participatory process consolidating democracy at a time of global pushback against democratic and human rights values. As institutions of proximity, local and regional governments have always practiced informal forms of citizen engagement, from dialogue with individuals and organized groups to the promotion of forums and neighborhood assemblies. For several decades, various local governments have promoted more formal forms of participation through neighborhood councils, assemblies, participatory budgets, public hearings or other regulated forums to incorporate citizens in public deliberation, decision making and evaluation of public policies. These practices have been developed with different objectives and purposes, such as achieving greater legitimacy of institutions or policies, better allocating public funds, including vulnerable population groups or achieving more transformative policies. The last years have seen a consolidation and deepening of local participatory democracy practices, triggered also by the COVID-19 crisis. In this compilation we would like to highlight the experiences of civic participation most focused on building pathways for the advancement of urban and regional territorial equality. Local and regional governments should not hesitate to promote citizen participation and co-creation practices that include diverse audiences and help to shape urban equity


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