Madrid digital participation experiences

Decide Madrid is an open consultation and direct democracy platform launched by the city of Madrid after the recent municipal elections. It enables citizens to propose, debate, prioritise and implement policy for the city.

Decide Madrid is built on software called Consul. Consul is an open source and free software Internet application. That means any other government or organization can easily replicate it. Consul was released on September 2015 in Madrid as Decide Madrid.

Madrid City has made an effort to help other cities to use this new open source technology developed in Madrid. It was replicated in the Oviedo City on December as, and in January in Barcelona as More than 20 cities in Spain are planning to implement it in the following months.

Consul has been inspired by LaboDemo experience in Plaza Podemos. Plaza Podemos is an Internet forum for Podemos party where everyone can debate. Once a proposal gets enough support, it jumps to a binding mechanism where finally there is a general consultation.

Boosting bottom-up participation 

Decide Madrid has been conceived as a bottom-up proposal mechanism where everyone can propose and debate but just people living in Madrid can have a binding support and vote. A deliberative forum is integrated with the citizen proposals mechanism. Until now, more than 15.000 proposals with more than 74.000 comments and 1.688.000 supports have been made. There are between 100.000 and 200.000 different users visits each month and more than 1.300.000 visits in total.

Once a proposal reaches the 2% threshold, a binding consultation will be promoted, and everyone (Madrid residents) will decide if this proposal can turn into action.

First plugin has been released on February and it allows the first participatory budgeting in Madrid: giving 60 millions Euros to be realized by bottom-up citizen proposals. More than 5.000 proposals have been made, some of them from individuals and others coming from collaborative face-to-face meetings in every district. The process to decide which proposals become a reality will be similar to Better Reykjavik in Iceland: people have to fill a budget line adding proposals until they reach the total quantity.

Better Reykjavik is a platform that has been running in the Reykjavik City for six years, and it has enabled hundreds of proposals to become a reality. Since its launch, the website has inspired more than 70,000 people to propose and discuss over 4,200 ideas. Better Reykjavik is created by Citizen Foundation in Iceland, and it is one of three pilots of the D-CENT project.

Join us in Madrid!

On the  23–28 May, D-CENT and collaboration partners are organising the biggest European event on network democracy, new forms of citizen participation, digital tools for democratic participation and urban commons for democratic cities.  The Democratic Cities – Commons technology and the right to a democratic city event takes place in Madrid, Spain. Welcome!

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