While at Smart Venice we are busy for the final rush before opening LagunaLibre, the first eco-bistrot & cultural –social hub in Venice, we are still intensively committing as active contributors to the European Innovation Partnership on Smart cities and Communities. Our CEO, Maria Sangiuliano, is leading the Action Cluster Citizen Focus and she has been one of the main promoters of the Manifesto for Citizen Engagement and Inclusive Smart Cities. The Manifesto is a EU level Policy outreach document which aims at fostering civic participation into smart cities initiatives to counteract prevailing top-down and mainly industry led approaches to urban innovation and promoting active citizenship through digital social innovation, co-design and co- creation.
The text was drafted within the EIP SCC Action Cluster leads team, in collaboration with ERRIN, Iclei Europe, AC Integrated Planning, published on line and opened to comments and proposals for improvement. More than 60 EU stakeholders took actively part in reading and commenting the document, and the final version has been taking into account all contributions ending up to an improved and richer document. It is now available to public endorsement from cities, regional authorities, grassroots, universities and industry representatives.
The Citizen Focus Cluster wishes to show how in Europe there is a critical mass of local authorities and organizations demanding for inclusive and participatory smart cities where citizens are not merely considered as final users of tech solutions but active subjects whose voices and needs shall be listened across the many existing societal differences and who can also take the lead of initiatives where social and tech innovations meet.
It is also worthwhile stressing how the Inclusive Smart Cities Manifesto is the first EU level policy document on Smart Cities where a gender perspective is taken into account: it calls for gender balance participation in consultation and participatory processes and, more broadly, for ensuring that a gender and diversity approach is mainstreamed into Smart Cities planning and implementation.
If you share the Manifesto’s approach you can join these efforts by endorsing it at the dedicated link and registering to attend the event where it will be officially presented and launched in Brussels on 23rd November.