Publication - Practical Handbook

How to turn the citizen into an actor of his territory?

One year after the release of its first Smart City Practical Handbook, the Smart City Institute has published its second volume, dedicated to citizen participation.


It aims to answer a crucial question for our municipalities: "How can we open up to citizen innovation and urban creativity to support the transformation of our territories? And more concretely : How can our municipalities mobilise their citizens?”.

This second volume, entitled "How to turn the citizen into an actor of his territory? "was presented exclusively at the Smart City Wallonia trade fair-conference on 25 September 2018 at the WEX.

How to turn the citizen into an actor of his territory?

Much more than a simple trend or fashion, citizen involvement seems to be gaining ground in Belgium, and is gradually becoming anchored in the strategies developed by cities and municipalities in the country.

Nathalie Crutzen, Academic Director of the Smart City Institute: "Indeed, our Belgian Smart City Barometer 2018 has enabled us to draw up several observations: not only is citizen participation one of the main prerequisites considered indispensable by our municipalities for the construction of a Smart City (for three out of four Brussels municipalities; one out of four Walloon municipalities and one out of five Flemish municipalities), but it is also identified as one of the five priority themes developed by them in their Smart City projects. (for more details, consult the full study). Moreover, some of them already affirm they involve the citizen in the evaluation processes of their Smart City projects.

These are encouraging observations, all the more so as they corroborate with what we put forward in our first volume : openness to external perspectives and citizen involvement before, during and after the implementation of projects is an essential prerequisite for any Smart City approach.

As our municipalities are already well aware of its importance and the potential that citizen participation represents, we have developed this second handbook to inspire and accompany them on the path of openness to citizen innovation.

Eight concrete digital tools to take actions

Although the concept of citizen participation has already been part of everyday life for several decades, providing cities with a whole range of tools to gather the opinions of their citizens (public surveys, advisory councils, etc.), the participatory practices developed today are undergoing a new turn, thanks in particular to the advent of new technologies. They enable the citizen to be more involved but also involved in a different way, thus offering cities new opportunities (better information for the citizen, reaching various audiences over vast territories, maintaining commitment over time, etc.). 

The SCI has therefore decided to present, through this handbook, eight participatory tools for using new technologies, chosen for their innovative and unifying qualities, but also for their replicability and the convincing results they have already generated in other territories. Through definitions, concrete examples, the identification of its advantages and limits, as well as recommendations, each tool is developed in such a way as to generate new participatory orientations for our territories.


Why a Smart City Practical Handbook ?

This second volume, specifically dedicated to citizen innovation, is part of a collection of free handbooks, mainly intended for cities and municipalities.

However, this Smart City Practical Handbook is more widely addressed to all territorial actors, whether from the public, academic or private sector, who are interested in the subject and wish to deepen their knowledge of the subject!

The first volume, published in 2017, has been downloaded by professionals from all horizons : consultants, project managers, advisers, officials, general directors, mayors, researchers, engineers, teachers, Smart City managers, developers and even citizens!

Everyone has their own profile, everyone has their own use: discover the testimonials of 3 readers, and how this handbook can be useful to you!



About the collection

Practical Handbooks 



Volume 1 (2017) - Your Smart City strategy in 15 key steps

Volume 2 (2018) -  Citizens participation 

Volume 3 (2019) -  Data governance

Volume 4 (2020) - Tomorrow's mobility

Volume 5 (2021) - Monitoring and evaluation

Volume 6 (2022) - Public-Private collaborations and partnerships

Discover the collection

See also - The Practical Handbook's Complements

With the support of Wallonia in the framework of its Smart Region programme, part of its Digital Wallonia strategy.


 Logo - Region Wallonne     

Share this news