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Smart People

Tirana, the city for children

In Albania, children are the greatest value for the people. Taking this into account, the local government of Tirana considers the importance of future generations as a priority issue. First of all, they have changed the narrative of the city administration. Usually, in politics, they always worry about the next election. So they could take the conversation to the next level – how do we worry about the next generation, rather than just the next election?

Bee Path - Ljubljana Urban Beekeeping

The Bee Path was opened in 2015 by the city of Ljubljana (SI), a municipality aware of the importance of pollinators for the sustainability of cities. The path is designed in such a way that visitors can comprehend the importance of bees for our survival and our food safety, discover the necessity of honey in our daily diet, but also find out more about the city's beekeeping culture. Various stakeholders are involved in the initiative: educational, cultural and health institutions, businesses, NGOs, and of course, beekeepers.

Finding opportunities in declining cities

The overarching theme of this good practice is strategic management in the context of long-term decline and stagnation. After local industries closed, the population of Altena (DE) shrank by 43% between 1975 and 2014. Facing diminishing resources and increasingly complex problems, Altena shifted its strategic objectives to focus on controlling decline rather than growth. The municipality adjusted its priorities, working more closely with citizens.

Kolorcity Kazincbarcika

The Municipality of Kazincbarcika realizes a local community building and community development program in partnership with local NGOs, businesses and local governmental organizations, with the support of the European Union and the Government of Hungary.

With the slogan "Color City", the Kolorcity concept started in 2011, resulting in the creative painting of more than 30 facades of buildings; a number of new statues, street art works, and the yearly COLORFESTIVAL, sports and recreational events colored the city's everyday life.

Urban Farming and Gardening

The city of Vienna supports neighborhood and community gardens under the motto “gardening together” and thus creates a framework that facilitates access to nature for residents of the city. The citizens of Vienna are increasingly taking up their garden implements and creating little gems of communal, self-determined urban cultivation. Under the banners of “urban farming” and “urban gardening” a framework is being created that promotes closeness to nature within the city and self-initiatives.

Wien Gestalten

Be it volunteering projects for children and teens, designing community gardens, parks, roads or squares, the development of boroughs, or even “private” district initiative projects by “Lokale Agenda 21” or urban renewal and neighbourhood management – in total, over 300 projects and dozens of events every month are included in Vienna’s Volunteering Database and constantly updated. To simplify the process, current volunteering events in Vienna are also communicated via facebook and twitter.

Decide Madrid

The open consultation and direct democracy platform was launched by the city of Madrid after the recent municipal elections. Enables citizens to propose, debate priorities and implement policy for the city. On the website citizens can create a thread where they can discuss any topic they want to share with other people in the city, and can propose what they want the City Council to do and support proposals from other people. Citizen proposals that reach 1% of support will be put to a vote. The first six months of each year citizens can decide how to spend part of the city budget.

Block by Block

In developing countries, citizen engagement in the rapid growth and development that many cities are experiencing is not a priority. Even when city governments want to engage citizens, finding methods that effectively do this are often quite challenging. With “Block by Block”, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, and Mojang, makers of popular online game Minecraft, are exploring how the game could be used to find out how people want to see their cities develop in the future. Using the game, residents can build simple 3D models of their community.

Better Reykjavík

Better Reykjavík is an online consultation forum where citizens are given the chance to present their ideas on issues regarding services and operations of the City of Reykjavík. Anyone can view the open forum and registered users who approve the terms of participation can participate in the forum. When a user presents an idea on the Better Reykjavík forum, it is automatically considered the public property of the residents of Reykjavík and the original idea can change considerably during the consultative process provided on this forum.

iBeacon Living Lab

Beacons give objects a personality. They allow a doorway to welcome you and a picture to tell you about itself. They let you know you are near a product you like or that coffee is half price. They let a tourist sign explain itself in your language. In a way they are almost magical but the technology that made them is so simplistic a child could have invented it. Beacons are a also a great way for app developers engage with the internet of things for the first time.