Since 2002, the city of Grenoble, France, has engaged citizens in public decision-making through participatory committees and town meetings. Residents have been able to express their opinions and make recommendations on city planning, education, cultural life, and other municipal issues. Over the years, this program has strengthened local democracy and empowered public participation in important civic projects.
This case was put on by By the People in conjunction with The Center for Deliberative Democracy, where 317 citizens from Michigan state participated in a deliberative poll in November 2009. The three day event was made into a NewsHour program and was broadcasted by PBS throughout Michigan on January 2010.
The Poitou-Charentes Region is located in the West of France. It has a population of 1.600.000 inhabitants, which makes it one of the most rural regions in France. In 2005, the executive of the Region Poitou-Charentes implemented the first participatory budgeting at a regional level in Europe.
As of 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 20,000) has sustained the practice of organized, public dialogue and deliberation for over ten years. Since 1999, diverse community groups in Portsmouth have organized at least six rounds of large-scale dialogue-to-action circles (study circles) initiatives. This case study provides brief descriptions of four of these initiatives from 1999 through 2004. Descriptions of Portsmouth’s later public engagement initiatives will be added to this entry at a later date, or posted as separate entries.