+CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook. A roadmap for inclusive citizen engagement in the energy transition challenge

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Abstract Summary
The production, distribution and consumption of energy in cities is becoming more and more complex with the appearance of new technologies, financial models and user roles. +CityxChange is a smart city project in which seven European cities –Trondheim, Limerick, Alba Iulia, Písek, Sestao, Smolyan and Võru– are experimenting on smart positive energy solutions and technologies where districts and city blocks produce more energy than is consumed. The project proposes a threefold strategy: First, the development of new decision support tools for urban planners. Second, the creation of a common energy market with new regulatory mechanisms, advanced technologies such as microgrids and local energy trading solutions. Third, the formulation of a complete plan for citizen engagement, titled CommunityxChange, which ranges from co-creating with citizens bold city visions for long term transformation, defining specially designated areas for prototyping solutions, to implementing robust participatory processes to ensure that any of the +CityxChange solutions and innovations will have the citizen at the centre and will be appropriate to their needs. This paper presents +CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook which is one of the six frameworks for citizen engagement developed in +CityxChange. This playbook supports local authorities in transforming citizen participation into local impact, which increases community engagement and builds citizen trust. This framework is more than a mere compilation of physical and online citizen participatory tools and describes a detailed roadmap of four distinctive citizen participatory processes including phases, steps, stakeholders and outcomes. +CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook offers four distinctive processes, involving a great diversity of stakeholders and using physical actions and digital tools in an integrated and synchronized way. Process 1: Co-design of urban interventions. It can be applied when municipalities lead urban intervention processes designed together with citizens, researchers, professionals and private stakeholders. For example, the installation of energy infrastructure or prototyping new solutions in urban space –complex multifaceted issues which can lead to strong public opposition–. This process allows us to bring participation early in the process while maintaining the technical quality and feasibility, and increasing citizen engagement during the ideation and implementation phases. Process 2: Collaborative Legislation. This process can be implemented when municipalities lead the development of new legislation or actions plans. For example, localization and prioritization of sustainable development goals at a municipal level and the translation into direct actions plans. This process would increase the understanding by citizens of municipal competencies and available resources for meeting these goals. Process 3: Participatory budgeting. It can be used to allocate part of a municipal budget directly by the local community. This process can greatly increase the understanding of the budget formulation & implementation by local stakeholders. Process 4: Citizens Proposals. This process enables direct and bottom-up citizen participation in which any individual or organization can submit an initiative to municipalities. The process provides a flexible procedure for citizens and organizations to develop innovative solutions, raise awareness and support and submit them when they are ready for technical evaluation. This paper will present +CityxChange Citizen Participation Playbook together with two implementation cases within the +CityxChange project: First, the localization and prioritization of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for its inclusion in Limerick City and County Development Plan. Second, the creation of an Open Call programme in Limerick to prototype innovative citizen solutions for positive energy transition in Limerick Georgian Neighborhood.
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6: Creating Healthy and Inclusive Urban Environment
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