The European Commission supported European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities (EIP-SCC)—combining the strengths of cities, industry, SMEs, banks, research organizations, and other smart city actors—have noted the crucial role which citizens play in achieving true sustainable development and have developed a manifesto which aims to guide cities in their efforts to increase citizen engagement. Beginning from 2014, the EIP-SCC’s Citizen Focus Action Cluster has been engaged in an active study of the ways in which citizens can contribute creative, relevant ideas and lend their enthusiastic support towards the development of innovative solutions to issues effecting the community at large.

In 2015, the Citizen Focus cluster published a collection of principles and enablers for citizen engagement in smarty city projects, drawing from a vast body of research, the published principles and enablers aimed to serve as general guidelines for a wide spectrum of projects. These guidelines were intended to serve as thought-provoking principles to consider when planning new projects, focusing on improving communication, incentivizing participation and nurturing relationships, ensuring proportional representation and inclusivity, proactively engaging citizens, balance the digital with the physical, safeguard rights and privacy, be perspective to unstated feelings and emotions, embrace varied cooperation, and leverage citizens’ participation beyond mere ideas.

Following on from this guideline list, the Citizen Focus cluster sought to cohere action among city governments by forming a concise manifesto that would serve as a launching pad for active collaboration. The manifesto calls on cities to commit to exchanging experiences, collaborating in knowledge sharing, actively engage citizens, and implementing citizen-centric solutions. Through this initiative, EIP-SCC aims to influence: leadership on increasing citizen participation, forming new models for collaboration, fostering the use of open data, integrating individual privacy into design, and expanding citizen engagement practices to all venues, fostering true open innovation and science that helps to create smart citizens.

The EIP-SCC has developed this manifesto through an inclusive process which included a discussion of a preliminary version at its general assembly and now opens it up for collaborative development, calling on municipalities, city organizations, and local authorities to vote on the manifesto online. Following the close of online contribution on September 15th, the final version of the manifesto will be presented at the Inclusive Smart Cities conference to be held in Brussels on November 23rd 2016.

Read the proposed manifesto and contribute your feedback to help guide its authors as they finalize it.

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