The socio-environmental transformation of the economy and society is playing out at municipal level. After all, it falls to municipalities to translate the abstract concept of “sustainability” into real-world goals and action. In many cases, however, they neglect the link between environmental and social aspects, with civic engagement in transition processes failing all too often to be socially inclusive, namely involving all groups in a society. Conversely, participatory processes produce better-quality results when a range of perspectives are taken into account. Inclusive participation also accelerates the rate at which planned projects are realized and empowers citizens to sustain momentum in transition processes, even after the projects themselves have ended.
The “Applying the Doughnut Model: Participatory Municipal Development” project addresses these challenges. Alongside two exemplary municipalities, the project both develops different participatory methods for inclusive sustainability processes and tests these on the ground. Both the development and implementation of these participatory methods will be scientifically monitored and evaluated. At the end of the project, the two municipalities involved will present the methods developed to other municipalities over the course of a roadshow. As such, the project aims to serve as a blueprint for socially inclusive processes of municipal change within the framework of the sustainable transition.
Our partner NELA, the Next Economy Lab, will take responsibility for implementing the project, which is based on Kate Raworth’s holistic concept of the doughnut economy. This concept strives to achieve the right balance between economic, environmental, and social goals.