The City of Zagreb is involved in the FUPOL - Future Policy Modeling FP7 project as a pilot city and evaluator of FUPOL models. The reasons and motivation of the City of Zagreb for participating in this project were to be involved in the development of new technologies that will enable citizens to participate in the creation of urban politics, as well as provide better understanding of the citizens’ needs by public authorities.
It was noted that the current methods of consultation with the citizens do not reduce the risk of missing important details and the exclusion of certain groups of citizens, and ultimately it leads to the rejection of the political decisions and policies. The City of Zagreb tests the new FUPOL tool in the field of land use for social infrastructure improvement.
The different social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as different electronic media, portals and blogs are channels that will be used in the new FUPOL tool for automatic collections and analyses. The City of Zagreb will be able to interpret the results of the analysis and the opinions of the interested public. It provides a better understanding of the citizens’ needs and more effective policy modeling.
The City of Zagreb started with the first phase of pilot implementation in the domain of Land Use & Improvement of Social Infrastructure. It includes two scenarios, one for setting the policy in the area of social infrastructure which includes kindergartens, schools, sports and recreational facilities and the other one for getting opinions regarding the Centre for autism.
For these scenarios a new campaign has been created, the blogs (http://zagreb-fupol.blogspot.com/) and the opinion maps for starting discussion and collecting ideas regarding these topics have been launched on the web site of the City of Zagreb, Twitter and Facebook of City of Zagreb.
The media has been informed about the new campaign through the Press Conference, the website of the City of Zagreb and Twitter and Facebook of the City of Zagreb.
The articles about the beginning of the campaign have been published on the following portals:
Description of target users and groups
One of the main target group is the Public Administration, that means decision makers such as a mayor or City assembly, but also other public administrators from different City offices which prepare different policies based on the citizens' needs and opinions.
Besides the Public Administration, the very important target users are citizens which are interested in creating city policies. This approach enables them to participate actively in this process.
Description of the way to implement the initiative
This is FP7 project. ZIH is a leader of Large Scale Demonstrators work package. The general objective of this work package is the demonstration of the potential of the FUPOL services in specific policy contexts and the assessment of results in order to generate feedback on the lessons learnt and to improve the components.
A specific objective of the work package is to validate that the FUPOL services can be exploited on a European scale by implementing them in several countries with varying conditions and focus areas. One of them is Croatia and Zagreb as its capital city.
1.Full Data Integration and Storage: A central repository is indispensable to integrate data from multiple source systems.
2. Full GUI Integration: Applications have the same “Look and Feel” from a users point of view.
3. Policy Indicator Dashboard: The policy indicator dashboard visualizes various indicators and flags them if they are below / above thresholds or certain conditions are fulfilled.
4. Social network aggregation and Single Window Display: This is the process of collecting content from multiple services such as Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot or the FUPOL opinion map and pulling them together into a single location.
5. Hot Topic Sensing and Summarization: Hot Topic Sensing is a web and social network analytics tool that analyses data from social networks, newspapers, forums, blogs, etc. and identify relevant topics.
6. Community Feedback Platform (CFP): The Community Feedback Platform is inspired by crowdsourcing platforms and is designed to enhance cognitive processes in a similar vein as traditional Idea Management Systems.
7. Visualization of Statistical Data: In the described process of policy modelling, the aspect of problem identification plays a key-role for the whole policy design process.
8. Visual Social Data Analysis: Besides valid and objective data, the investigation of “subjective values” is important for identifying problems and gathering information about the “social impact”.
9. Knowledge Database and Visualisation: This refers to a multiple interlinked databases with policy related information. The visual knowledge database provides a visual search ability for proving the given information and compare to the web-knowledge.
10. Outgoing Multichannel Social Media Single Window Messaging: The capability of posting messages to various channels (social media targets) at the same time without the need to manually post to each site separately.
11. Opinion Maps: Opinion maps are interactive electronic maps that can be integrated into almost any internal or external web site and allow the posting of comments on a GIS based map.
12. Simulation and Impact Visualisation: Policy simulation enables a virtual evaluation of policies.
13. Visual Fuzzy Cognitive Map: Modern systems are complex and they are usually comprised of a large number of interacting and coupling entities that are called subsystems and/or components. A fuzzy cognitive map represents a system as a network showing the directed causal relations between its elements through arrows.Technology choice: Proprietary technology, Open source software
Main results, benefits and impacts
- Politicians can get a better understanding of the needs of citizen and businesses.
- Direct, better feedback from all political stakeholders through multichannel social network based communication between politicians and citizens.
- Improved prediction of impacts of policy measures leading to more efficient implementation of government policies.
- Better decisions through forecasting of the potential impact of political decisions.
- Increased engagement of citizens and wider use of ICT tools resulting in higher potential of innovation concerning interaction of citizens with the government.
Return on investmentReturn on investment: Not applicable / Not available
This pilot project is ongoing and so far we can emphasise the following:
Key success factor for achieving objectives in this kind of project is involvement of all important stakeholders, especially citizens, so it is very important to start public campaigns in early stages of a project:
- It is very important to involve the key public administrators;
- It is very important to provide a good mechanism for evaluating the success of a project.