Milano Partecipa- Milan Participation Platform - Milan

City / Region

Milan (Italy)

In a nutshell

Milano Partecipa is the digital platform for citizen participation in the democratic processes of the Municipality of Milan. All resident citizens or city users, aged sixteen and over, are entitled to participate in the ways established by the Statute and the Regulation of Participation of the Municipality of Milan and by the Participation Pacts of the individual processes. 
The participation processes activated on the Milano Partecipa platform include both the institutions regulated by the statute, such as referendums and petitions, as well as consultations, the participatory budget, the collection of observations or proposals - which are experimental initiatives of civic participation, conducted over time by the Municipal administration, also thanks to the collaboration with Universities, associations and groups of active citizens. Reference is made in these cases to the Participation Pact, an administrative document that defines for each process the rules, stages and methods of participation and establishes the rights and responsibilities of participating citizens and the Administration. 
In order to participate in the processes active on the Milano Partecipa platform it is necessary to log in with one's own SPID Digital Identity or, if one is a minor, with the credentials valid for strong identification on the portal of the Municipality of Milan. The identity of participants is protected by a nickname. 
Milano Partecipa is based on open source software Decidim.

What makes the service user-centric?
The Milano Partecipa Platform’s objective is to empower citizens to voice their view on specific matters, allowing policymakers to collect ideas and feedback on policies and involve citizens more in the creation of policies and public services. The act at the basis of the participation process is the Participation Pact, a document that regulates a given experimental participatory process that the administration decides to initiate. It defines the objectives, methods and roles of the participatory process, indicates the stages and timeframe, and establishes the object of the process. Experimental participatory processes, such as consultations, public debate or participatory budgeting, are tested on an experimental basis and evaluated in terms of their effectiveness and the feedback from citizens before being regulated in the participation regulations. Each participatory process therefore has its own specific Participation Pact.
What impact has the service had?
The first participative processes hosted in the Milano Partecipa platform has been the Air and Climate Plan (acronym in Italan: PAC) approval process. Thanks to the platform, the overall PAC process is presented and organised in progressive phases: all the documents of the PAC are visible and accessible and can be observed /amended in a formal way, which means that only observations and comments and requests for amendment submitted through this digital platform are official and hence might be accepted or rejected formally by the Municipality. The digital process has run in parallel with in-person events (consultation through questionnaires, 9 meetings with Districts, 4 Thematic laboratories, Consulta degli Studenti: an important meeting in order to reach, inform and engage the representatives of the students who cascade down to their peers what learned during the meeting.). At the end of the online process of collecting comments, the contributions elaborated during the whole Participation Process were transmitted to the City Council that discussed, amended and approved the Air and Climate Plan. After the approval of the Plan, the responses (counter-deductions) to the observations were published on Milano Partecipa.
The Platform has simplified the participation process for citizens willing to let their voice heard on the Air and Climate Plain issues. A total of 486 observations and 67 comments were collected and the platform, for the first time, made it possible for the citizens to easily get information, to contribute, to read everyone's proposals and to interact. A tool that the pandemic emergency has made even more essential in order to give continuity to the city's democratic participation policies.
How was the service co-created?
Milano Partecipa is based on the open source software Decidim, first developed by the Municipality of Barcelona and constantly upgraded by the community of Meta Decidim, and subsequently adopted by many public and private organisations.
When starting to develop a participatory platform to be integrated with the municipal website, the desire of the Administration was to create a platform that would be the point of synthesis of the citizens needs in terms of participation detected in the previous experiments (i. E. the participatory budget). According to these needs, different services offered by the platform were created: consultations (e.g. above mentioned consultation on the Air and climate plan), the possibility of launching and voting referendum proposals and the collection of digital signatures.

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