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The Montréal Space for Life charter of citizen participation

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Photo: Mathieu Rivard

Humus is the layer of topsoil that is richest in organic matter and most biologically active. Citizen participation is the “humus” of a healthy democracy.

In its desire to help people live in better harmony with nature, the Montréal Space for Life invites everyone to develop their eco-citizenship by taking individual or collective action. The Montréal Space for Life seeks to foster and maintain citizens’ natural ability to exchange ideas, since this is essential to the health and growth of society. By sharing space, expertise, passion and commitment, creativity and collective intelligence can flourish and find solutions to many social and environmental challenges.

With a view to initiating and sustaining the movement towards a new way of life, the staff of theMontréal Space for Life can rely on seven key principles to guide them in the implementation of citizen participation. With these principles, the Montréal Space for Life can put down deep roots in order to maintain a strong position on sustainable development. They also serve as a means to gather citizens’ ideas and bring them to the organization’s attention, so that initiatives based on community interests can bloom.

FLEXIBILITY, OPENNESS AND WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN. Show openness and willingness to listen when it comes to the needs expressed and directions defined by citizens and partners. Accept the necessity to alter methods and show flexibility to allow for innovation and to incorporate citizens’ contributions with regard to the co-creation of content and projects.

ACCESSIBILITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. Make the Montréal Space for Life facilities and institutions more accessible and welcoming for all communities. Ensure that every citizen has the potential to contribute to the citizen participation process.

TRANSPARENCY. Define a framework ensuring full transparency of all citizen participation processes, from the conception of projects to their achievement. Share the information and results.

ENGAGEMENT AND RECOGNITION. Recognize the contribution of citizens, highlighting actions both large and small. Ensure long-term citizen engagement and empowerment while taking care to respect people’s boundaries.

RALLYING AND MEDIATION. Serve as a rallying point: bring citizens together through activities, and encourage exchange and debate. Help create links among citizens in the community.

REFERENCE. Serve as a place of reference, providing information and expertise with respect to nature and eco-citizenship. Support citizens and provide them with tools to take collective action while inspiring pride, excellence and the desire to act.

GOVERNANCE. Implement structures for participation and a reception mechanism enabling citizens to share their ideas and to express their interest in working with the Montréal Space for Life.

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