Get our free book (in Spanish or English) on rainwater now - To Catch the Rain.
What communities can do
Overview, see right hand column for more
- create or develop Location, projects or networks pages, eg 'Sustainable (Your town)', in this wiki
- Participatory carbon budgeting
- Participatory budgeting
- Participatory or citizen journalism
- Street parties
- Local quality of life conferences
- Community involvement weeks
- Youth Fora
- promote and practice Open conference design
- advocate Open involvement
Why it matters
Community involvement is about people and communities being able to play a full part in decision-making, for example local decision-making, and so influence the decisions which affect their lives. It is also about community empowerment, for example through access to appropriate information and adivce.
Proper community involvement is not tokenistic. Instead it is on-going, valued, meaningful, provides extensive opportunity and is genuinely and extensively influential.
Proper community involvement is not about allowing mere comment on decisions that have already largely been taken. Instead it begins at the design stage, the very beginning of any project or programme.
Proper community involvement does not include measures of success being foisted upon the community, or worse still simply being ignored. Instead it gives a primary role to the community in judging how successful a project or programme has been.
Rio Declaration on Environment and Development
The Rio Declaration of 1992 enshrines public participation in its 27 principles. Principle 10 states that "environmental issues are best handled with participation of all concerned citizens, at the relevant level”. The Rio Declaration continues, drawing a close link between access to information and public participation:
"At the national level, each individual shall have appropriate access to information concerning the environment that is held by public authorities, including information on hazardous materials and activities in their communities, and the opportunity to participate in decision-making processes. States shall facilitate and encourage public awareness and participation by making information widely available. Effective access to judicial and administrative proceedings, including redress and remedy, shall be provided."
- A Charter for Democracy on Commons Transition Strategies Wiki (creative commons license)
- Civic Activism
- Civic Commons Wiki, an effort to provide a permanent, sustainable organization to assist public agencies in the adoption of open systems and collaborative technologies, and to coordinate the co-creation of these technologies among agencies to ensure interoperability and shareability. Civic Commons will provide infrastructure, knowledge, and toolsets to government entities, and encourage the development of shared "civic software" and protocols, and supply optional technical infrastructure (such as data and project hosting) as needed.
- Imagine Chicago, Imagine projects and networks in th UK, Europe and Australia have been modelled on Imagine Chicago.
- Benchmark study data The state of open data from different perspectives, including that of the public / citizens
- Introducing the Cycle of Transparency, Sunlight Foundation Blog, 03/10/10
- Resources from Imagine Chicago
- Making is Connecting - site about Making is Connecting project, with extracts, video, etc. W
- Regulation on collaboration between citizens and and the City for the care and regeneration of urban commons, comune.bologna.it
- Who Ya Gonna Call? Deliberative Democracy Resources
- 72 Frequently Asked Questions about Participatory Budgeting, UN-HABITAT, 2004
Apps for sustainability
Promise Tracker, Data collection for civic action. After an election, how can citizens hold elected leaders accountable for promises they made during the campaign season? We believe that informed communities, equipped with data, are the best positioned to assess the performance of their representatives and advocate for change on a local level. Promise Tracker explores how citizen monitoring can extend civic engagement between election cycles.
Citizens data initiative
Since its emergence in Porto Alegre, participatory budgeting has spread to hundreds of Latin American cities, and dozens of cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. More than 1500 municipalities are estimated to have initiated participatory budgeting. W
There resides in all populations a "mass of sense lying in a dormant state - which good government should quietly harness." Tom Paine 
*"Where I live in Marin County, it was citizen action that instigated the preservation of hundreds of thousands of acres as open space and parkland; it was not government taking the initiative. That mostly happened in the pre-Internet days. Now that we’ve got the Net and there’s more talent, creativity and freedom in the civic sector than in government, it’s time that citizens once again take the lead in building tools and solving problems for their localities." cfigallo 
"Given how radical a departure these participatory ways of working are from the closed-door status quo (or the view that participation is limited to voting and opinion polling), we cannot declare, define, and repeat often enough what it could mean to embrace collaboration and co-creation; to make consultation part of operations on a day-to-day basis; to strive for constant conversation with an engaged and knowledgeable public and to reinvent the conception of public service and of the public servant as the steward of such a conversation.." Beth Simone Noveck 
Sharing ideas and actions
- local information can be found, or shared, via our many location pages
- Arts, sport and culture
- Citizen centred participation
- Citizens data initiative
- Communities online
- Community and voluntary action
- Community resources
- Maps for community action
- Open conference design
- Open involvement
- Participatory carbon budgeting
- Rural sustainability
- Urban sustainability
- Video for community action
- Civicus, global alliance dedicated to strengthening citizen action and civil society around the world. Founded in 1993, the organisation today has members in more than 145 countries, with its headquarters in Johannesburg and offices in London, Geneva and New York. W
- Democracies Online, builds online public space in the heart of real democracy and community. "Our mission is to harness the power of online tools to support participation in public life, strengthen communities, and build democracy."
- Foundation for Democracy and Sustainable Development
- Open311, collaborative model and open standard for civic issue tracking
- OpeningParliament.org, forum intended to help connect the world's civic organizations engaged in monitoring, supporting and opening up their countries' parliaments and legislative institutions.
- Open Government Initiative
- Green Drinks international Organic, self-organising network of people who meet up monthly for a beer at informal sessions known as Green Drinks.
- Participatory Budgeting Project, (mainly USA and Canada)
- Meetup Free service that organizes local gatherings about anything, anywhere. Topic groups include 'New Urbanism and Sustainable Development'