On 1 December 2014, the EUKN organized a Policy Lab in Paris, France on Public Participation in Deprived Neighborhoods. The Policy Lab was attended by French policymakers, researchers and practitioners, who had the opportunity to interact with international experts on public participation from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain as well as from the Council of Europe.
The aim of the Policy Lab was to examine various models of citizen participation in Europe, with the intent of informing on the upcoming development of citizen councils in underprivileged neighbourhoods in France. The policy lab drew upon the experiences of European countries and European organizations and initiatives, as well as other international examples.
Throughout the Policy Labs, a number of case studies have been presented to showcase the state of public participation in urban development in EU countries. The examples included United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Brazil, and France. The wide variety of examples illustrated how much institutionalization of participation depends on the legal context of a country. The participants defined the possible goals of the participative actions and strategies in the different countries, and how to value them.
Based on the morning’s reflections, the workshops of the afternoon were organized around four topics; three topics related to the three main components of the “contrat de ville” and a fourth topic on culture. As a conclusion, the participants explored the theme of public participation in depth and built on the exchanges that were initiated during each workshop’s presentation.