A community of Citizens’ Conventions to strengthen the ecological transition

In recent years, The Rouen metropolis and the Haute-Normandie area in general have experienced a consistent rise in temperature, accompanied by a notable decrease in available water. Furthermore, the municipality faces additional challenges stemming from its dependency on nuclear energy, lack of food sovereignty, high poverty rate, and extensive private vehicle usage, contributing to its status as the most polluted city in France.

Addressing these challenges requires leveraging the territory’s potential for renewable energy utilization and organic agriculture development through effective metropolitan planning. Moreover, conflicts in Rouen have emerged concerning deepening inequalities resulting from the ecological transition and resistance to necessary lifestyle changes.

Enhancing the inclusivity of participatory processes is crucial to prevent the ecological transition from exacerbating social inequality and to educate the population about the correlation between European Green Deal (EGD) and overall quality of life improvement.

To address these issues, this project proposes integrating multiple municipalities to establish a community of assemblies aimed at enhancing their adaptability to EGD challenges. This initiative comprises several stages, including drafting proposals on how various Rouen communities can collaborate to address these issues and expand participation, establishing diverse assemblies to develop and justify different proposals, and implementing an evaluation system for these proposals.

Pilot Details

  • Country: France
  • Administrative level: Local
  • Local Partner: Res publica
  • Topic: Energy, Climate, Agriculture
  • Main Objectives: Create a network of Citizens’ Conventions to strengthen the connections between municipal and metropolitan levels, enhancing the ecological transition in the territory.

The four topics identified by the Szeged Territorial Planning Platform (TCCD)

Between June and November 2023, the Rouen Metropole Territorial Commission for Co-Design (TCCD) held three meetings, bringing together an average of 13 participants, including Metropolitan agents, citizens, elected representatives, and civil society representatives.

Meant to define the framework and organisation of the community of citizens’ convention, the TCCD focused on  key aspects such as group composition and objectives. Notably, the TCCD has underscored the importance of bridging the gap between local and metropolitan levels to accelerate the ecological transition, with a focus on energy and agriculture.

One of the standout outcomes from the TCCD’s deliberations is the decision to prioritize composting as an initial action for the community of citizen conventions, to provide a tangible focal point for collaboration.

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This initiative also aligns with the overarching objective of integrating different scales within the ecological transition framework.

In terms of composition, the TCCD envisions a majority representation of citizens from both the metropolitan and local conventions, alongside elected representatives and municipal/metropolitan agents who will provide crucial support. The community of citizen conventions will have the autonomy to determine whether to implement a quota system for citizens compared to elected representatives and municipal/metropolitan agents, fostering inclusivity and diversity in decision-making processes.

Unpacking the Szeged’s Citizen Assembly