In order for the participative urban democracy to work, it is necessary to work out and implement suitable procedural tools, such as local referenda, residents’ resolution initiative, citizens’ panels and juries, participatory planning, public consultations, participatory budgeting et al.
Alongside participatory budgeting (also known as ‘citizens’ budgeting’) that concerns only a small fragment of the city finances, residents should have a significant impact on the decisions about big public investments and long-term financial plans for the city.
This obligation includes especially prevention of poverty, social exclusion and homelessness, support for all those in need of such support for other reasons, and protection for all minorities facing discrimination.
The economic energy of the residents, especially fulfilled in local trade and services, contribute to the accumulation of the local capital, city development and affluence increase, as well as to establishment of stable economic bonds.
This can be attained by using social clauses in public procurement procedures – their implementation should constitute an obligation for local authorities.
The fundamental challenges for ‘urban ecology’ are urban noise, air and water pollution, high emission and wasteful energetics and transport, wasteful exploitation of land and water, allotting green areas for investments, decline in trees, and overproduction of unsorted and non-recyclable waste.
Only strengthening public transportation system integrated with foot and bicycle traffic may create conditions for efficient transfers within the cities and metropolitan areas.
The mission of the city should be to make the values of culture accessible for all residents, not only the elites. That should include include preparing residents to participate in culture through education. Wide participation in culture makes our lives better and the city – more appealing.
Suburbanization contributes to the decay of both rural and urban areas, violates the rules of sustainable development and contradicts the visions of ‘the compact city’ and of ‘the city of short distances’. It results in considerable environmental, economic and social losses because of the excess need for transportation and shipping goods, as well as moving water, sewage, fuel, energy, waste et al.
Decentralization involves locating national institutions in various cities, not only in the capital, and regional institutions also in cities that are not regional capitals. It combines the social, economic and cultural dimensions.
Cities, along with governments, global business and international organizations have to engage actively in preventing climate catastrophy. This requires profound changes to the present, wasteful and destructive, way of living, in all its manifestations. It is not limited to ecological issues, it concerns urban planning, energy, transport, consumption and food, organization of social life, culture and values. Urban climate policy should include both: measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and measures to adapt to developing climate change.