Forest – Designing and facilitating the Citizens Council

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Dreamocracy has been selected by the municipality of Forest (Vorst in Dutch) in the Brussels region to design and implement a key development in its infrastructure of citizen participation tools in 2021-2022: a new Citizen Council. Forest’s Citizen Council is a citizen panel, made up of 37 inhabitants drawn at random, representative of the diversity of the municipality’s population. It informs the municipality’s decisions with concerted opinions and concrete recommendations. The municipality of Forest thus aims to better involve residents in the development of its policies, facilitate interaction between residents and elected officials, and benefit from the knowledge of citizens and their experience of realities. local, in order to inform public policies.
Dreamocracy is developing innovative techniques focused on quality deliberation and creative ideation to ensure the impactful contribution of the citizens. Hand-in-hand with the municipality, civil society organizations, and benefiting from the expertise of Particitiz for the recruitment of the panel, we have gone to extra lengths to ensure the participation of people in need or homeless.
The Citizen Council met 12 times between June 2021 and the summer of 2022. Three salient topics were discussed.
  • The first topic discussed by the Council was ‘How to face climate change in the public space of Forest?’. After 3 sessions of deliberation and exchanges with experts, the council submitted its recommendations to the City Council of Forest in December 2021 and is now awaiting an official response within the next 6 months.


  • The second topic, chosen by the participants, was safety of individuals and road safety in the municipality. The conclusions were presented at the end of March 2022.


  • The third topic was cleanliness of streets and public spaces. The panel’s recommendations were submitted to the municipality in the second half of 2022.
Each theme was explored in depth over three sessions, to give participants time to reflect and come up with more informed opinions and concrete proposals. Meetings were bilingual and facilitated by highly skilled facilitators. The emphasis was on everyone’s participation, the friendliness of the discussions, and the production of concrete, creative solutions. More specifically, the services provided by Dreamocracy were to:
  • Coordinate the recruitment of the citizen panel.
  • Design the citizen deliberations, through formats that are not commonly seen in such panels, including walkshops, Rêve Parties and other stimulating ideation techniques.
  • Facilitate the deliberations.
  • Produce reports of the proceedings in formats conducive to greater involvement beyond the panel.
  • Design, build and manage the website informing of the Council’s proceedings:
  • Advise the municipality of Forest on all tasks related to the success of the Citizen Council, including political and communications considerations.




“The members of Forest’s Citizen Council were able to create bonds of trust with their representative over the course of the project. By being available, responsive and reassuring, the Dreamocracy team was a partner of choice in the launch of this innovative project for our municipality and across the Brussels region.”

Alain Mugabo, Alderman for citizen participation, municipality of Forest, Brussels



Municipality of Forest / Vorst, one of Brussels’ largest and most dynamic municipalities.


Brussels, Belgium

Learn more about the project