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    A provincial government in the Netherlands (Limburg) wants to start a movement designed to encourage citizens to live longer and healthier, and to participate in society. The province mobilizes partners to achieve these goals, with important tasks for the municipal governments. This article addresses the question how to help municipal governments in this approach. To draft a guide, a literature search was carried out, interviews were held and the policy practice was explored. This approach resulted in several building blocks that promote a departure from the trend in the health and participation of the citizens in Limburg. These building blocks are set in municipal activities in a Participation Compass social domain. Applying them indicates whether a municipal government is doing the right things to actively engage citizens. It gives an overall picture of the functioning of administrators, networkers and service providers. The report mentions strong points as well as learning points. It is crucial that results are recognized and accepted. The report also suggests improvement points for municipal governments and their partners on their path to the participation society.


Dr. Jean Schutgens
Dr. J.M.L.R. Schutgens is bestuurskundige en bestuurlijk vrijwilliger van het Huis voor de Zorg. Hij was gemeentesecretaris van Landgraaf in de periode 1992-2008.

    From 2001 (until February 2017), the Dutch province of Overijssel had its own knowledge center, in the area of urban society alongside the national knowledge centers, that was called KISS. In a first essay, an overview of KISS meetings dedicated to citizen participation was given with examples from all over the world. A second essay zoomed in on the Dutch municipality Deventer, a frontrunner in the area of innovative community and area development. This essay focuses on Enschede, a municipality with nearly 160,000 inhabitants in the east of the Netherlands near the German border, as pioneer with the method of the social general practitioners (‘wijkcoaches’) in the Netherlands. Two KISS meetings were devoted to this innovative instrument: the first on its design and on the preliminary results of the project, the second on the final results and on the future of the project. An important role in pioneering was played by the political executives in the municipality and the community of Enschede that showed New Civic Leadership (a concept from Robin Hambleton) by their commitment to the common good and the values of the welfare state. This type of leadership is especially important in a turbulent policy environment like that of social work with decentralizations, financial cuts and shifting policy goals.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Since 2001 the Dutch province of Overijssel has its own knowledge centre in the area of urban society next to the national knowledge centres: the ‘KennisInstituut Stedelijke Samenleving’ (KISS). In a previous essay an overview of KISS-meetings dedicated to citizen participation was given. Examples were used from all over the world. This essay zooms in on Deventer, a municipality with almost 100.000 inhabitants in the east of the Netherlands, that can be considered a frontrunner in the area of innovative community and area development. This essay gives an impression of some KISS-meetings on physical community development (to give the inhabitants a say in the physical renewal of their neighbourhoods), social community development (to stimulate inhabitants to improve their own life chances) and economic community development (to give the inhabitants better opportunities on the labour market). This approach was implemented in a deprived neighbourhood (‘Rivierenbuurt’) for the first time and was accompanied by ‘verbal renewal’. The case of area development (‘Havenkwartier’) concerns the subject of temporarily landscapes (‘pauzelandschappen’) that are developed, because the original development plans have incurred a delay. Apart from its willingness to break new ground Deventer shows a lot of attention for issues of sustainability and the positive role of the art sector. In short it is a versatile ‘micropolis’ that uses the available ‘social capital’ and the ‘creative class’ well.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Since 2001, the Dutch province of Overijssel has had its own knowledge centre focusing on urban society, called the ‘KennisInstituut Stedelijke Samenleving’ (KISS), alongside national knowledge centres. This essay gives an overview of some relevant KISS meetings devoted to a many kinds of citizen participation. The overview is based on reports made by the author himself. Examples of citizen participation are: the new styles of neighbourhood governance, citizen participation through neighbourhood budgets, the strength of the city and location-based leadership, innovative urban renewal and the promotion of citizen initiatives in the province of Overijssel. Examples are not only from the province of Overijssel (situated in the east of the Netherlands), but also from other parts of the Netherlands and other countries (Flanders, United Kingdom, United States and all over the world). The subject of citizen participation (in connection with urban renewal and administrative leadership) enjoys an ever-increasing popularity as is shown by the number of KISS meetings devoted to this subject.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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