The City of Zagreb has implemented two pilots in the domain of Land Use & Improvement of Social Infrastructure. The first one consists of two tests, one regarding the policy setting in the field of social infrastructure (kindergartens, schools, cultural and sports facilities), and the other one for gathering the opinions about a centre for autism. The second pilot also consists of two tests, one for the policy setting in the field of social infrastructure as well, and the other one for gathering the opinions apropos the children’s playground in Remete.
The first pilot initiative was launched in May 2013. The City of Zagreb via FUPOL platform launched a campaign to gather citizen input on social infrastructure in Zagreb. The actual topics have been opened for discussion on the websites of the City of Zagreb, on the social network pages of the City of Zagreb and blog, using the FUPOL platform. For that purpose it created four opinion maps, for schools, kindergartens, sports facilities and the Centre for autism with sensory park. 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 and the FUPOL leaflet has distributed to 32 locations in the City. The articles about the beginning of the campaign regarding social infrastructure and the Centre for autism have been published on different portals. All employees of the city government involved in policy-making in the two aforementioned domains are educated, they are given access rights and they are provided with continuous support in using FUPOL platform.
Also, using the FUPOL platform, its feature for social network aggregation, the City of Zagreb created social media windows for searching through the social media sources. Once such content is available, the facilitator can use the specific platform functionalities (hot topic sensing) to extract the most debated issues; he can also provide certain visualization to present the results to decision makers in the City. It is a way to recognize the most interesting suggestions and include them in the agenda for the definition of new policy issues in the management of social infrastructure improvement.
By applying the FUPOL platform, the City of Zagreb has ensured the involvement of citizens in all phases of the policy creation. So far conducted phases are setting the agenda and creating the city’s policies in the defined domains, and certainly plans to apply FUPOL approach in the phase of implementation and monitoring. During the campaign for the two earlier mentioned tests, held were two evaluation workshops with representatives of the city administration. One of them was related to the evaluation of simulation model and simulator, and other to evaluating other FUPOL features used in the campaign: campaign, opinion maps, questionnaires and social media aggregation.
Based on the current usage of FUPOL approach and platform, and their evaluation, identified are areas of improvement thereof and thereby provided feedback to partners who work on developing FUPOL features.
The key success factor for achieving the objectives in regards to project as such is the involvement of all important participants, especially citizens, therefore it is very important to start public campaigns in early stages of the project. Also, it is very important to involve the key public administrators and enable a good mechanism for evaluating the success of the project.