Project Overview

European citizens do not participate equally in the Information society: in fact, the digital gap is moving down from infrastructures to uses. Based on this observation, local authorities in Europe have developed Digital Public Spaces (DPS) promoting e-inclusion.

E-coop Wiki

PrendoParte - an E-Coop platform
PrendoParte is an online platform created for the democratic participation of the citizens of Terni municipality. It has been realized within the European Interreg IV- E-Coop project where 12 member states worked in close cooperation and in a proactive exchange to the development of public digital spaces”.

The platform public website is:

A digital participation public space strongly wanted by the Mayor who had included it as one of the main focuses of the political agenda of his first term (2009) and again in the second term for the next five administration years of Terni.

PrendoParte was so born: after a very articulated and complex design phase, with the contribution of the Faculty of Communication Sciences (University of Perugia), a digital platform was set up that thanks to its specific features has become an example of good practice among Italian institutions (as such it has been mentioned in the VADEMECUM for the intelligent town drawn up by the National Observatory Smart City ANCI that has also chosen Terni together with other 7 Italian cities, among which Venice, for a specific experimentation on Smart Cities.)

PrendoParte is a virtual discussion space - clearly different from Facebook even though arising  from the same original idea of all the social networks – concerning key topics that the administration wants to bring to the attention and judgment of citizens and get useful ideas for a final decision. It is possible to join the discussion by using different languages ranging from written words to videos and photos, to come to the most creative possible participation.

The discussion takes place on the net like in a square and the results are visible to all the participants as well as the decisions made on the suggested subject. This is indeed one of the strengths: the mediation work between the citizens and the political decision makers creates the foundation for a transparent management of the common good, so much desired. Once the discussion topic has been decided, various tools can be activated such as a forum, a survey and a creative participation.

PrendoParte is the driving force for a democratic participation, the development of democratic paths where the principles of democracy, transparency, independence and legality  are assumed  with responsibility.

It is therefore a public digital space, a space where the public opinion can take shape, ideas can be exchanged, the common good can be discussed, requests can be submitted together with innovative proposals, thoughts and documents can be put on the net. A strategic tool of participated democracy according to the bottom-up modality that the governance of modern countries cannot do without.


The test for the stakeholders

Once the digital platform was completed, a test phase has started in order to try both the working modalities and the appeal on users as well as the capability of stimulating lively discussions on topics of common interest. For this aim a group of 30 people, all of them  stakeholders for different reasons, have been contacted and given limited access to the platform for test reasons.

During these days and till the middle of July, the selected group is working on simulating the participation to the platform on the first discussion topic proposed, i.e. “Culture and creativity to make enterprise in Terni”.

The discussion will be in progress for four weeks and during this period each member of the group will be able to say his/her opinion on the subject proving his/her point of view also through additional material available in a specific area of the portal: a dynamic and vital discussion that will lead the political decision-makers, once the test phase is over, to make choices closer to the citizens.

From the initial test phase, it results that 15 people out of the 30 ones involved took part in the simulation and that the tools used were the forum and the survey. Moreover, probably because the test itself for its nature reduces the involvement, the one who gives his/her contribution to the discussion in the forum, does not support a dynamic discussion but he/she simply gives his/her opinion on the subject from time to time.

The public launch

 The coincidence with the electoral period (the local and the European elections took place on the 25th  of May,  the runoff on the 8th of June), has brought to the choice of postponing the public launch of  the whole platform city, a choice raised from the fear that the too aggressive political communication of the electoral period might have taken advantage of the platform.

This choice has been due also to the fact that the subject proposed to the citizens must be necessarily chosen from the political decision-makers of the city (the major, the City Council and/or the single assessors ), who then have to follow the whole participation path in order to take the final decision. It appears clear that this kind of procedure couldn’t be started during the last month of the previous legislature and that therefore  the new political decision-makers will be the ones to have the task to involve the citizens in their Governance project of the city.

To this end, it has been decided to organize a public event that will occur on 10th of October. This event has been anticipated by an ambitious campaign of communication, in which PrendoParte will be presented to all the population. On this occasion, a group  of  innovation and e-democracy experts,  will explain by simulations in a workshop for all the interested citizens, the positive impact of the digital platform use on democracy.

The platform public website is: