The city of Saint Quentin took over citizen participation in 2014.
First, the city marked a political will with a deputy mayor, Thomas Dudebout who is in charge of citizen participation and major projects. Then the city equipped itself with tools capable of supporting local democracy approaches.
The city initially created a service with 4 people dedicated to participatory issues.
In order to structure effectively the animation of the approach in the territory, the city has set up 8 district councils, a youth council, a council of seniors, a council of associative life and very recently a counsil of disability and a counsil of environment and sustainable development. Finally, a “friends of seniors” network was created to find synergies among all political actors for seniors.
Saint Quentin was also innovative with the creation of the “espace citoyens” (Citizen Space), a place dedicated to citizen participation that allows to inform and train the inhabitants but also to facilitate participatory workshops.
Very soon the inhabitants will also have access to an online platform of citizen participation.
Information and consultation are currently common practices in the community through the 13 consultative bodies with the 385 inhabitants who constitute them. The city now wants to develop on some of these public policies of co-construction allowing the inhabitants to be actors of the elaboration of the projects.
« L’espace citoyen »
This space was created in 2017 in order to allow each inhabitant who wishes to be able to participate in the city life and its projects.
The objectives are:
- Promote citizenship;
- Support residents to get involved in volunteering and get involved in the city;
- Allow residents to learn about the functioning of institutions and the city of Saint-Quentin;
- Create a place for training, information and initiatives for each inhabitant who wishes to do so;
- Federate the actors of the territory;
- Promote ambitious projects in collaboration with different counsils.
The city of Saint-Quentin has developed a central, convivial and modular place that allows all inhabitants to engage in daily and concrete democracy.
Several consultations with the inhabitants made it possible. It permits to establish the content of the citizen space, as well as its organisation. To meet the needs of the inhabitants and members of the advisory bodies, it was decided to propose different workshops.
Balance sheet of the creation of the “espace citoyens”
This place has allowed to institutionalize citizen participation in the landscape of the city of Saint Quentin on several levels that are essential. Firstly, internally as part of the functioning of the administrative organization with a dedicated team and a space known by all departments. The various directions of the community have gradually appropriated this space to consult the population on topics of citizen participation.
Over the years, it has become an essential place for the mobilization of the inhabitants, to their initiatives, on major national causes such as “Telethon” (defeat the disease and strengthen research), “pieces jaunes” (“yellow coins”, to help children in hospitals), “Restos du Coeur” (restaurants of the Heart, food aid for the poor people).
The partners and actors of the territory have also invested this place and contributed greatly to its activity through the qualitative interventions they offer to the inhabitants. They create a real social link.
The citizen space has become the place of citizen engagement for all the actors who make citizen participation, inhabitants, community, partners, associative environment.