We are today, more than ever, living in times of change. We are having to face new and unexpected challenges. ‘Politics as usual’ in our representative democracy is no longer delivering what people expect, leading to an increasing distance between political institutions and citizens.
In this context, citizens are willing to get more involved in the decision making processes that affect their lives. The increasing mismatch between people’s expectations, existing democratic practice and the scale of our societal challenges is a real opportunity for cities. As the closest level of government to people, city governments are the place where democracy can start, and from where connections can be made to bridge the gap between people and politics.