This report explores how local government can improve decision-making by actively engaging citizens, business, academia and non-profits in a process called ‘co-creation’. We define co-creation as an inclusive and dynamic process where members of these five sectors – also known as the quintuple-helix or Q-helix – actively collaborate throughout the problem identification, design, implementation, decision-making and evaluation of projects and/or urban policies.
The report examines why and how citizen engagement processes have evolved from top-down autocratic approaches to ones that are increasingly participatory, democratic and, more recently, co-creative. It examines case studies from a small cross-section of medium-sized cities in Europe and North America and offers insights into how co-creation and technology can be used to enhance and create more inclusive decision-making processes. The limitations of technology and of co-creation are also discussed. The report ends with lessons learned and recommendations on how to improve a city’s capacity for complex problem solving and evidence-based policy decisions by involving a diverse set of stakeholders at each step of the process.