DemocracyNext Cities Programme

We work with cities around the world who are interested in implementing new models for citizen engagement. Specifically, we focus our work on the contextualisation and implementation of Citizens’ Assemblies in a systematic way to broaden and deepen citizen participation and deliberation in urban planning decision-making processes.

We tap into the knowledge and expertise of each city in order to adapt the general proposals outlined in DemocracyNext’s paper, Six ways to democratise city planning: Enabling thriving and healthy cities.

First international cohort of cities: 2024-25

In response to an initial call for applications for cities to work with us to implement the ideas outlined in the paper, in February 2024, we received over 20 applications from cities in 17 countries around the world expressing their interest. These cities are eager to make systemic changes to how decisions about urban planning are made, with deliberative and sortition (lottery)-based approaches such as Citizens’ Assemblies as a key pillar of change. 

We will collaborate with these cities over the next 18 months to adapt the proposals to each context, designing how Citizens’ Assemblies can be embedded in each unique place to broaden and deepen citizen participation and deliberation in urban planning decision-making.

We've finished conducting interviews with the shortlisted candidates and will be making an announcement in May 2024 about who we are working with.

Overview about how we work

  • DemocracyNext is not a practitioner organisation - part of our mission is to train and empower local organisations and and administration staff to have the skills and know-how to do this themselves.
  • We build capacity through a 3-stage learning program outlined in this document that is tailored to civil servants, decision makers, and planners to increase the knowledge and capacity of staff and decision makers to understand the elements of initiating and running a Citizens’ Assembly. This is done virtually and in person.  
  • We provide ongoing advice and guidance throughout implementation of the Citizens' Assembly by local partners.
  • We will provide opportunities for knowledge-sharing and learning between a cohort of cities.
  • We carry out research with local academic partners to evaluate and learn from the process of designing and implementing the Citizens’ Assembly for future iterations and institutionalisation. 
  • We promote the collaboration in order to inspire other cities globally.
  • We work with cities to determine the appropriate fee for collaborating with DemocracyNext and a cost estimate for a Citizens’ Assembly that we determine through initial conversations.

Find out more about how DemocracyNext collaborates with cities, download the PDF below:

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