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Participatory democracy as a vehicle for social inclusion and spatial justice

Citizen participation in local, public affairs through democratic mechanisms is a fundamental political right. It is both a key component of local self-government, a powerful catalyzer of minorities and most marginalized groups’ social inclusion, and a way to strengthen democracy and promote urban citizenship in contexts of metropolitan and territorial governance. Since its inception, our Committee has facilitated spaces of debate for local governments and civil society to tackle all these challenges and support city-to-city learning in partnership with the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD).

The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) defines itself as “a space open to all cities in the world and all associations, organizations and research centers interested in learning about, exchanging impressions and applying experiences of participatory democracy on a local scale with the aim of deepening the roots of democracy in municipal government”. For over a decade, the IOPD and our Committee have worked together to strengthen the role of participatory democracy in the framework of UCLG, and to foster the link between these debates and the right to the city.

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Fostering political debates on participatory democracy, social inclusion and the Right to the City

As the International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) represents the main forum of debate and exchange of practices on participatory democracy in UCLG, our Committee actively cooperates with the IOPD in order to link its work with other thematic discussions, such as social inclusion, spatial justice or the right to the city. Our Committee is partner of IOPD’s annual conference and helps raise awareness on its policy messages throughout the year.