The People Make the City


City of Mechelen


The campaign "The People Make the City", a project of the City of Mechelen, Belgium, uses storytelling to showcase new ways in which all inhabitants of a municipality regardless of their citizenship can participate in local community life and policy-making.


The campaign promotes the idea that all inhabitants of a local neighborhood, regardless of age, gender, or ethnic-cultural background, can have a positive impact on the public space they share and have personal stories linked to these places.


The initiative encourages all residents to participate in the political decision-making of their municipality, for example by encouraging them to apply for public financing of "Local Engagement Networks" or to pariticpate in citizen panels advising the city council, collecting examples of concrete initiatives and projects.




The campaign translates the collected stories into publicly available content including the artistic performance “MAPPING Mechelen”, podcasts, public exhibitions and street art, building a more realistic and nuanced narrative of the impact that migrants and refugees can have on their local neighborhoods.


Useful Links:

Website of "The People Make the City":

To follow the campaign on Facebook:


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