What is participation democracy


How far does participation go?

Participation pyramid - The levels of participation / Source: funtasy projects - www.funtasy-projects.ch

As far as the scope or depth of participation is concerned, reference is made to the participation pyramid of funtasy projects. In it, the authors emphasize that participation comprises five levels that are mutually dependent. These are: Information - having a say - having a say in the decision-making process - taking part - self-administration / autonomy. The degree of participation is primarily based on the question of whether and to what extent those involved can or not have a say in the decision-making process.

The first four levels are essential for participation in Vienna:

information is the lowest level and at the same time a prerequisite for all other levels of the participation pyramid. As a current example in Vienna, the Bürgerstammtisch Hauptbahnhof (4th district) should be mentioned at this point. The planning has already been completed, but interested citizens can come to the local community table, find out more, ask questions or give suggestions. However, you can no longer make or influence decisions.

The next higher level is called With language designated. This means, among other things, that concerns or wishes are processed by the participants and presented to the decision-makers in order to discuss them with them. Conversely, politicians can also approach the population and give them the opportunity to have a say in specific construction or redesign projects. It is also characteristic of this level that the children and young people cannot make any binding decisions; this is reserved exclusively for the politicians. Although they choose delegates and topics, they have no influence on the final decision. Most of the participation opportunities for children and young people in Vienna belong to this level. However, there is a noticeable tendency that participation models are now also being designed and implemented in which politicians and children or young people are already working together more intensively (youth district representation 15). A particular example is the Word Up! 20 in the 20th district, where the district decides whether a project is to be implemented, but if the decision is positive, the participants themselves decide how the selected projects should be implemented with a certain budget amount.

If the participants can actually decide whether something will come about or not, the authors speak of Co-decision. An example of this is the Trunnerpark participation process that has already been completed in the second district.

To the next higher level, the Co-participation, are to be counted the six districts that take part in the Local Agenda 21 for Vienna. These are the 3rd (Agenda Wien Landstrasse), the 4th (LA 21 Plus Wieden), the 8th (Agenda Josefstadt), the 9th (LA 21 Plus Alsergrund), the 22nd (LA 21 Plus Donaustadt) and the 23rd district (LA 21 Plus Liesing). The LA 21 processes enable young people and adults to participate comprehensively. But two projects for children and young people also meet this requirement, namely the successful construction of a girls' café in a new building and the Hernals youth participation projects. Both were approved in advance by the district and thus also financed, but those involved have complete freedom of decision and design during implementation.

→ Forms of participation
→ Opportunities to participate in Vienna
→ Opportunities for participation in Vienna: overview by district
→ Opportunities for participation in Vienna: overview according to target groups
→ Home: Participation in Vienna