In April 2001, the Canadian government established the Romanow Commission to deliberate with citizens on the future of healthcare in Canada. However, the commission overlooked the serious issue of engaging marginalised groups such as Aboriginal people, and did not provide separate participatory spaces for such groups. While some Aboriginal people participated in the dialogues, the outcomes did not fully reflect Aboriginal health issues.
In the context of the perpetual crisis of urban transportation in Bucharest, there is a growing population of city dwellers fighting for bicycle rights and advocating for a new, bicycle friendly infrastructure in Bucharest. The bicycle fans coagulated since the mid 2000’s into different groups and NGO’s and developed into a new movement and a powerful presence in the urban landscape, adopting several strategies of public participation.
In 2010 the Emilia-Romagna Region approved law no. 3/10 regarding citizen participation in decisions of public interest. The Region used this method in the development of a new regional transport plan. The current Regional Integrated Transportation Plan covered the time period 1998-2010. When drafting the new law, the Region decided to use participation as a mean to gather suggestions and solutions concerning transport and mobility issues. The Regional Department of Territorial Planning promoted the event, that was supported by an outside firm (Avventura Urbana).
Under the slogan “Future Needs Solidarity. Diversity Creates Chances.”, the BürgerForum 2011 did not address any specific problem or problems; it rather allowed participating citizens to identify problems as well as solutions they deem most pressing for German society. The purpose behind this approach is three-fold. Firstly, initiators hoped to inspire citizens to be more excited about politics and democracy and instill a sense of community within participants.
The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.