Rotterdam, London and Ghent finalists of the 2023 UserCentriCities Award

12 May 2023

Rotterdam, London and Ghent are the finalists for the best user-centric service in European cities and regions in 2023 given by UserCentriCities.

The UserCentriCities team announced the best-performing cities on 11 May after judges evaluated the submitted services based on the Tallinn Ministerial Declaration on eGovernment.

Rotterdam – Making city hall reporting easy

Have you ever stumbled upon a broken bench at a park and wished you could have reported it to the city hall immediately? Meld’R is a user-friendly, easy and intuitive app allowing Rotterdam residents to do that. Whether it’s about litter, accessibility barriers or pest control, the Meld’R app streamlines the reporting process while allowing the city to resolve any issues efficiently and effectively.

Co-designed with the input from 50 Rotterdam locals and based on extensive research, it discovered that reports about public space are essential to people’s perceived quality of life and should be addressed quickly and correctly.

The app design principles focus on providing social benefits to locals by ensuring their reports are handled efficiently. Meld’R has changed the way people report problems in the city. Currently, 70% of all reports are made through the app.

London – Engaging people in policymaking​​​

Talk London is a civic engagement platform to engage Londoners in City Hall policy and programme making. With a tagline of ‘Your city, your say! Let’s make London better together!’ the overall goal is to empower locals to meaningfully impact the decisions that affect their daily lives while actively contributing to transforming their city.

Any Londoner can become a member of Talk London, which seeks to reach and engage a diverse audience to guarantee all groups are represented in decision-making processes.

By making it easier to get involved and the City Hall more accessible, Talk London hopes to transform the design process into a more transparent one and address engagement reasons.

Ghent – Involving people from vulnerable communities

The city of Ghent is transforming its services more proactively, especially targeting people in vulnerable and underserved situations.

Three cases have been developed and implemented so far: Reduction of school fees for low-income families, free garbage bags for lower-income residents, and a culture pass granting a reduction of costs on the city’s cultural activities. A fourth case targeting low-emission zones is already under development.

By using available federal datasets, the city is able to check if the resident meets the criteria, then offers these services proactively. Ultimately, the resident benefits from these services without applying for them.

This has significantly reduced the city’s administrative burden, making space for a more efficient process while reaching more beneficiaries.

Cities are improving their systems into user-centric inspiring services

From municipal chatboxes to digital twins, this year’s submissions to the UserCentriCities Award showcase how European cities and regions are leading in user-centricity and digital transformation in their administrations.

The three finalists will present their services during the award ceremony at the 2023 UserCentriCities Summit on 25 May 2023 in Brussels. The winner will be announced at the event.

The award aims to raise awareness and recognise the outstanding achievements made by European cities and regions in developing user-centric services for their people. A high-level group of experts from international institutions, the public sector and academia evaluated 44 submitted services from all over Europe.

More inspiring services can be found in the User-centric Services Repository, a unique online best practices library.


Marta Buces Eurocities Writer