Ricany is a town with more than 15,000 inhabitants just outside of Prague. It is a key D21 partner in the Czech Republic and a devotee of governance through civic participation.
In order to increase citizens' participation in decision-making processes, the Říčany administration had to resolve multiple issues. First of all, it was necessary to increase the engagement to make participation in public life easy, exciting, and rewarding. Moreover, the city had to find new ways of gathering and analyzing data to make the decisions smarter and more responsive to actual needs of the population.
In May 2015, an intensive collaboration between the city of Říčany and D21. As the result, a project called “Řídím Říčany” (I Run Říčany) was founded. This project aims at increasing long-term civic engagement and at attracting citizens' voices into the decision-making processes. This project unique for the Czech Republic in its objectives also exhibits a high level of flexibility regarding registration and verification regulations that get more strict during important votings (investments etc) and relaxes during votings on less sensitive issues (cultural events etc).
By January 2016, over 1,500 of 15,000 residents of Říčany registered on this platform. This is a strikingly high number if you consider that the last municipal elections attracted less than 6,000 people.
Since the launch of “I Run Ricany” citizens participated in decision-making on a wide range of issues ranging from choosing an investment project (approx. 2.5 million CZK worth) and regulation of city ordinance to picking a musicians for the City yearly concert.
In addition to these information, the city administration received robust data on what the residents' needs and preferences are based on their age, gender etc. D21 also conducted a representative sample survey to measure residents' satisfaction with amenities and services available to them in their neighbourhoods. All this data is used for making a better planning and targeting specific areas or groups in order to address their issues.
Together with D21, Ricany shows that more participatory and knowledge-based decision-making is easy!