Last December we have met Sofie Verhoeven in her office in the city hall of Ghent. Sofie is in charge of citizen participation in this beautiful and vibrant city in the Flemish part of Belgium. Ghent counts over 500 local initiatives, including one of the most pioneering renewable community neighbourhood. We wanted to know from Sofie how they manage to have such an active local community. In our conversation, Sofie talks about the city’s DNA, how she networks with citizens, how she nudges them and why even conflicts cannot stop her from being thrilled in her job.
mPower explores how cities and citizens can manage the energy transition together – in a fair, clean and democratic way. Participation can happen at various stages: from involving citizens, local NGOs or businesses in the policy design to any stage of the energy value chain: for example as shareholders or even prosumers.
The mPower project gets funding from the European Horizon 2020 programme.
City officer in charge of participation