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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.

campagnebeeld Sint-Katelijne-Waver zaait: inwoners participeren in meerjarenplan 2020 - 2025
Campaign image ‘SKW zaait (Sint-Katelijne-Waver sows): citizens participate in multi-year plan 2020 – 2025’

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.

Hoplr poll on a smartphone, the votes are divided between for and against

“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.

Table with the eight questioned themes: safe cycle paths, cleanliness, natural cemeteries, affordable housing, public transport between town centres, participation, co2 emission, greener municipality, with an average of some 950 views and 270 votes.

“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 physical encounters reinforce each  other for a stronger community and more representative citizen participation

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.

SKW plaatst een bericht op Hoplr met de tekst: 'SKW zaait': stem op uw favoriet 14:00 - Lemanstraat, 2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver, België Moet de gemeente investeren in kunstgrasvelden? Is een nieuwe jumelage aan de orde? Wat is humusatie? Dit en nog veel meer zaterdag 24 augustus tijdens 'SKW zaait' aan het gemeentehuis. Kom luisteren, geef uw mening of gooi zelf nog een idee in de groep. Het gaat over de toekomst van onze gemeente.
SKW posts a message on Hoplr with the text: ‘SKW sows’: vote for your favorite 14:00 – Lemanstraat, 2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium. Should the municipality invest in synthetic turf pitches? Is a new twinning required? What is humusation? This and much more on Saturday 24 August during ‘SKW sows’ at the town hall. Come and listen, give your opinion or throw an idea into the group yourself. This is about the future of our municipality.

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.

vier Hoplr-buurten van Sint-Katelijne-Waver op een kaart
four Hoplr neighborhoods of Sint-Katelijne-Waver on a map

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.

From individualism to local community to offline inclusion and citizen participation

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.

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