New @TESEV2015 report: “Sustainable Cities e-Participation for a Politics of Local Commons”

by Ulaş Bayraktar


The idea of sustainable development has been transformed into a concrete program under 17 headings within the United Nations Global Goals. According to the Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDG) prepared within this framework, Turkey ranks 48th among 149 countries with a score of 66.1. In the fulfillment of sustainable development goals, participatory city governments play a major role and new opportunities have emerged. Citizen participation can be achieved through a range of methods and scopes, such as information, consultation, inclusion, cooperation, and empowerment, and Internet technologies open up considerable opportunities for these, although preexisting structural and cultural problems that precede these mechanisms endure. This report argues that the participatory practices inspired by the idea of the commons could make a significant contribution to making these participatory practices more functional.

Policy Recommendations: 

1. Bringing forth city values that could be shared by all citizens, in order to enhance the bonds of belonging, and organizing activities which would foster these bonds; 2. For those who continue to express their sense of belonging to their original home lands inspire of being residents of the same city, creating public occasions that would bring people together, facilitate mutual acquaintance and develop a minimum level of mutual trust; 3. Enabling information mechanisms that would enable people to understand the necessity and importance of participation, and which would make popular monitoring possible, as well as keep administrators informed of public expectations and choices; 4. Developing practices differing from the usual hierarchical organizational types in order to facilitate and encourage the gathering of people sharing similar problems and preferences.

Full report here



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