Project by the City of Sao Paolo (Brazil) and CEPAM (a public management think tank), in cooperation with Seva (a non-profit organization). The platform (currently in beta) lets citizens report problems or put forth proposals, comment, exchange among each other and discuss. The website is enriched with twitter feeds, tag clouds, videos and other material. It currently covers all major cities in Brazil.
According to the website (in Portuguese), Cidade Democrática is:
É uma plataforma de participação política, onde cidadãos e entidades podem se expressar, se comunicar e gerar mobilização para a construção de uma sociedade cada vez melhor.
Translation (adapted from Google Translate):
It is a platform for political participation, where citizens and organizations can express themselves, communicate and mobilize to build a better society.
The project is present on Twitter as @cidademocratica.
In a conversation with Intellitics, the following features of Cidade Democratica seemed revealing: It was most successful in areas/cities where the people behind it were also very active. Despite the project’s independent nature, proposals and debates originating from Cidade Democratica could then sometimes reach the policy process. In most areas of Brasilia however, the project is not very well known, and in the capital Brasilia, despite being the country’s political center, not used. On a different dimension, the project’s future will be decided by whether the rights owners will open source the platform and thus create public trust and gain additional project members. After this year’s elections it remains to be seen whether a new spirit of problem solving and possible contracts with the public sector might help the project regain some popularity.