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International local government news 04.06.24

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Here are the latest newsworthy and interesting stories from the local government sector that caught our attention. In this round-up of what’s happening right now in the world of local government, you’ll find best practices, inspiration, and more from across the sector.

Portugal: Participatory democracy scheme return to Lisbon
The City of Lisbon has revived its participatory budget scheme after a three-year hiatus. The participatory democracy program allows residents to propose projects to receive financial backing from the city. The scheme initially ran from 2008 to 2021 before being suspended by mayor Carlos Moedas, who argued that projects that had already received approval needed prioritising. Now, a streamlined version of the scheme is set to launch towards the end of the year.
Publico

Ireland: Dedicated drone unit to debut in Dublin
Dublin City Council has announced the creation of a dedicated drone unit, in a bid to establish an “urban air mobility network”. The unit is hoped to provide public services from the air, with long-term uses including cargo and even human transportation. It will centralise the city’s existing drone operations and support accelerated uptake, especially in areas such as planning enforcement, environmental monitoring, emergency response, asset management and illegal dumping.
The Irish Times

Germany: Fixed-price system introduced to keep local Berlin cabs competitive
In a push to remain competitive in the face of ride-hailing apps, the City of Berlin is set to introduce a fixed-price system for local taxis. Requested by the city’s cab drivers themselves, the move will mean taxi customers know the price they will be paying before getting in the cab, as is standard on apps like Uber and Lift. Cab drivers in Berlin have reportedly found their business is becoming increasingly uncompetitive with the rise of the new app models.
The Mayor

Belgium: The mobile voting booth educating Ghent teens
Ahead of the upcoming European elections on 9 June, the City of Ghent is trying to educate local teenagers on their upcoming voting choices and their electoral duty. Voting in Belgium is compulsory, and the voting age for European elections was lowered to 16 last year. As such, to help students better understand what to expect, Ghent has launched a mobile voting booth to tour local schools, so teens can get first-hand experience of the voting process.
The Mayor

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