We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to promote engagement within urban communities. Without social capital, local level networks or grassroots initiatives have difficulty dealing with urban issues such as poverty, education, and unemployment. Citizen engagement, as a community building strategy, has been recognized as leading more cities to adopt plans that promote community organizing efforts in urban revitalization plans.
The Pillars Of Citizen Engagement
- Leverage innovation and technology
- Involve citizens in policy making and more importantly, enacting such policy
- Generate employment
- Boost morale and quality of life
Leverage Innovation And Technology
Promoting the use of new technology can provide many solutions for urban areas. It can lead to better energy management, waste management, water management and improved citizen services.
In the age of mobile devices with apps for everything from grocery shopping to vacation planning, cities are picking up on the trend to make city services available online via mobile phones.
Involve Citizens In Policy Making
Cities are making their public engagement events less stuffy and more fun to encourage attendance, especially by families. These events often gather knowledge and perspectives while also presenting enjoyable activities such as entertainment (music, movies, etc.), food, and public speakers.
For more details on community-led policy formation, click here
Cities face a number of dilemmas in trying to create and support new jobs. Not only do they have limited financial and human resources but they also need to prioritize what they do and how they do it to achieve maximum impact. They must not only protect current jobs but also grow new ones. Making the area seem more appealing to outside companies seeking to set up in the locality is task enough.
Other work to create more employment opportunities is to bolster the community that already exists by instilling confidence through affordable and accessible training centers. Introduce skills development center and attempt to remove the stigma surrounding those who feel uneducated and you may be on government benefits
Aim To Boost Morale and Overall Quality Of Life
Place greater emphasis on quality social infrastructure. Inclusive developments such as more affordable housing, more access to healthcare and schooling alleviate so much stress in society. Create a community culture that focuses on the positives and encourages more involvement in areas such as sports and the arts.
The positives from improved civic engagement are great, and the costs are minimal, so why not start today!
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