Citizen Engagement is a two-way process of exchanging opinions, ideas, information and expertise that enables local people to be part of goal setting, addressing problems. At the same time, citizens engagement involves them in the planning and delivery of innovative solutions in the public interest.
Citizens are better engaged at the local level than any other. In democratic societies, people’s views and responses whether they find new solutions acceptable are considered side by side with professional decisions. Solutions for many urban problems often depend as much on public acceptance as on technically possibilities.
As societies transition away from fossil fuel driven lifestyles, citizens will need to be meaningfully engaged in order to see sustainable behavioral changes adopted and mainstreamed. This session will unite local governments that have effectively mobilized citizens around infrastructural investments and sustainability policies through highly successful community advocacy campaigns.
Best practices from local governments who have put citizens first across sectors including sustainable transport, smart urban infrastructure, and energy efficiency will share how a high-level of citizen engagement has been a critical success factor in boosting community buy in and performance in sustainability issues.
Experts and local governments present in the session will discuss the challenges and opportunities of deepening citizen engagement.
Växjö’s green story: Becoming fossil fuel free with citizen and stakeholder involvement
Bo Frank, Mayor, City of Växjö, Sweden