From having a focus on participatory design, user-driven innovation, collaborative innovation and design thinking, Aarhus is strong in using co-creation in innovative processes. The city’s focus on engagement, active citizenship and collaboration is a core of the way Aarhus works. City development, policy development, service development – Aarhus engages stakeholders in small and big changes of the city.

Here are some of the projects:

Dokk1 is a rethought and continually rethinking public institution. It is an open citizens’ services approach, a hub for citizens who use Dokk1 as a place for meeting other citizens through a variety of volunteering activities, by creating events, exhibitions and meetings. It is a place for debates and even the place where the Alderman of Culture hosts monthly open get-together meetings with citizens. Dokk1 was awarded to be the best Library of the year 2016 and has in 2017 been mentioned as an inspiration for former president Obama’s coming presidential library.

The civic society in Aarhus flourishes and civic communities are invited to co-create and complement the public services and to realise city strategies.

Aarhus is in 2016 chosen to be the European Volunteer Capital 2018, because Aarhus has clear and appropriate funding mechanisms for volunteer-involving organisations and measures impact and supports research in order to inform evidence-based policy for volunteering. The citizens are a vital part of the European Volunteer Capital year.

Another example of citizens affecting the political level and the city administration is the “Children and Youth City Council” (members chosen at annual elections), having their city council meetings in the official city council meeting hall working with the city’s challenges like better environment in schools, recycling, integration, healthy food.