Municipality Sint-Katelijne-Waver concludes successful participation project
Citizens Sint-Katelijne-Waver participate in multi-year plan 2020 – 2025
Inhabitants of Sint-Katelijne-Waver were asked nine questions on Hoplr in July 2019. The questions covered various topics such as mobility, housing and environment. The project was an overwhelming success: 1,657 registered households cast a total of 2,207 votes and posted 190 additional comments. A total of about 5,600 households live in the municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
Hoplr not only allowed the city council to easily kick off the participation project, but also to invite 30% of SKW’s households to the offline participation event on August 24.
Participation project results
The questions from the participation project were about safe cycle paths, cleanliness, natural cemeteries, affordable housing, public transport, environment and citizen participation. Depending on the question, citizens could then give a score, vote or share a proposal. The results were then used to design the long-term plan and daily functioning within the administration.
“As a municipality, we already did a lot in terms of communication and participation. For example, we started Hoplr last legislature. And now we want to extend that to participation 2.0. Hoplr offers many possibilities in this area, so that we can now take that step forward again. ”Kristof Sels, Mayor of the municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver
For three weeks, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the municipality posted a question on Hoplr. Each question was voted 270 times on average. An open question about participation received 46 proposals. The project got 36,835 views. 1,364 households (82%) followed the participation trajectory and 519 members (31%) actively voted and made suggestions.
“A fun project from which I, as a communications officer, have already learned a lot. Thanks to the support of Joris and his colleagues. ”Anja Houtmeyers, communications officer Sint-Katelijne-Waver
SKW zaait: offline participation moment
No representative citizen participation without offline participation. Physical encounters are key to meaningful citizen engagement.
Digital tools and offline meetings can reinforce each other in order to involve as many members as possible. That is also why the municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver organised the offline part of ‘SKW zaait’ on 24 August. Citizens with a proposal for the municipality could present their idea and seek the support from neighbours.
Through Hoplr, the administration was able to enthuse many: a total of 120 citizens came to the town square on August 24 – despite the heat that day. 24 ideas were presented at the event. In addition, another 18 citizen initiatives were proposed by visitors.
Some of the selected proposals:
- A bicycle library
- Seniors taking students into their home
- Dance afternoons for the neighbourhood
- Connecting hiking trails
Both the citizens and the administration are hoping to regularly organise these citizen participation trajectories.
Municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver on Hoplr
The municipality is just celebrating its first birthday on the Hoplr neighbourhood network, but has already welcomed 30% of its households (EDIT: in april 2020, SKW reached 40%). In just a year’s time, the municipality’s communication department posted many relevant messages in the neighbourhoods: about road works, citizen meetings, waste collection, calls for volunteers and much more.
The citizens themselves also made extensive use of the neighborhood network:
- 4 neighbourhoods
- 1,657 registered households
- 2,565 posted messages
- 15,060 comments posted
“Hoplr is very active in our municipality. Almost 30% of citizens are registered. ”Mayor of the municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Kristof Sels
Hoplr brings citizens closer together around various neighbourhood-oriented themes. This creates social cohesion and involvement in the community: the ideal breeding ground for citizen participation that extends beyond everyone’s individual interests. Representative citizen participation is based on the collective. And that’s why Hoplr works.
Likewise, the municipality of Boechout, the city of Geraardsbergen and the city of Sint-Niklaas already benefit from the effect of a stronger community because of Hoplr. These Hoplr partners also successfully launched their citizen surveys on the neighbourhood network.