Business - Written by Paul Artiuch on Monday, April 27, 2009 17:18 - 3 Comments
Engaging the green citizen
Governments have a major role to play in solving the climate change problem by setting greener national policies, negotiating international agreements and cleaning up the public sector itself. While most governments accept this responsibility their methods for achieving these goals are typically fairly 1.0. Citizen participation in particular is mostly limited to electing green minded officials or to complicated consultation or public notice and comment processes. Governments could use the considerable grassroots concern for the environment to engage citizens in decision making on various initiatives and policies.
Some early examples exist. One of the better known initiatives is called “Help a London Park – You Vote, We Makeover”. The idea was to give citizens of London a voice in deciding which parks would receive upgrades. A green twist on a budget consultation process. The site is very simple to use and allowed citizens to vote on their top choice. The process helped city officials select 10 parks that will receive up to £ 400 000 in improvement grants. Although not perfect the initiative illustrates a way governments can reach out to their citizens to inform their decision making. Similar 2.0 consultation processes have sprung up, mostly around budgeting, in Germany, Canada and Brazil. We would be very interested in hearing about any other initiatives that our readers might have heard of that focus on environmental issues.
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