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Citizen participation at the heart of the Wal-e-cities project

02 August 2022

The Wal-e-cities GOV project involves developing software and solutions to improve the management of the Smart City in Wallonia. Scientists, municipalities, citizens and external service providers are all working together in this action research. One of the project's pillars is the inclusion of citizens in the development of the Smart City through citizen participation.

The Wal-e-cities project responds to several priorities: the innovation of ICT (Information and Communication Technology), the challenge of cities, the potentially structuring effect of Smart Cities and the potential for more transparent governance. The ERDF (EU+RW) Wal-e cities GOV project, led by UMONS HumanOrg (Soci&ter) and in collaboration with UNamur CRIDS, aims to develop software and systems that address the needs of citizens in the areas of mobility, energy, environment, and well-being.
The Smart City is linked to three main themes: digital transformation, improvement of quality of life and, lastly, the inclusive participation of citizens and stakeholders (source: Smart City Institute Wallonia). This last theme is essential because the development of the Smart City creates windows of opportunity for understanding society's expectations. It is essential to include citizens in its development because they bring a complementary view of the functioning of their city. Citizen participation is an essential tool for discovering the needs of these citizens and subsequently integrating them.
Recommendation sheets have been created for any organisation wanting to engage in citizen participation. These sheets explain the complementarity between digital consultation tools and traditional consultations in the citizen participation mechanism. They help to improve the citizen participation process and make communication between citizens and public authorities clearer.
Link to the recommendation sheets for optimising the use of digital participation platforms in Wallonia: WAL-E-CITIES - Recommendation sheets PDF Impression.pdf - Multitel - Transfer
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