The areas within cities have become ideal centers for political, economic, and social progression within the modern societies. People within urban centers are constantly looking to be involved in the development of every aspect of life. Inclusivity, integration and diversification have become vital aspects in the workings of the private and public sectors. The level of public involvement in political and administrative engagements is important especially at the local authority level. Public inclusion in running cities ensures that a sense of belonging among residents is inculcated. Social and cross-cultural exchange of ideas is a vital aspect that helps authorities to mobilize and instill democratic principles to communities in developing cities. Civic mobilization along democratic principles is a precursor for the realization of shared interests thus ensuring that short-term and long-term planning is beneficial to all communities (Fung, 2006).
Inclusivity is the ability of the people to take part in the social, political, and economic wellbeing within their environs for the common good of the community. This ensures that making of policies take a broader perspective of a united society instead of the traditional approach that focuses on human needs. As such, civic engagement helps to create a cohesive society. By including citizens in the foregoing aspects, ensures that they develop mechanisms that enable them to participate in all democratic activities in the public sector and practice the same in the private sector. By forming inclusive communities within political divisions also ensures development of policies that are beneficial to all as diverse contributions from various groups lead to negotiated outcomes that are acceptable to all people (Fishkin, 2007). Inclusivity therefore helps communities to find strength in their diversity which is an important element for harmonious living.
Actions of civic engagement recognize the existence of community diversities and authorities need to exploit the diversity aspect by identifying, appreciating, and make use of the unique abilities. This is achievable through encouraging citizen participation in all spheres of developmental agendas from the decision-making to the implementation phase regardless of their beliefs, religion, and lifestyles. Diversity therefore goes beyond mere recognizing and tolerating existing differences to building coalitions that give a sense of responsibility concerning economic, political, and social development of a county (Phillips, 2002). Civil engagement is vital to the attainment of sustainable individual and collective socio-economic advancement. This is can only be realized through establishing multicultural democracies within county governance systems that afford individual choices and equal opportunities for all.
Cities have become determinants of the social and economic growth as well as hubs for creativity and innovation. Consequently, the sustainability of quality social and economic interests within a city depends on the perspectives of cultural inclusivity within the key concepts of urban policies. This is true for the simple reason that policies are meant to eradicate insufficiency, address aspects of social marginalization, and other urban challenges . However, the existence of disparities in the social, cultural, political, and related opportunities pose a great challenge in the successful implementation of policies by local authorities. For that reason, diversified city policies coupled with diversified action plans within urban areas often convenient.
Any form of disconnect between the democratic structures and the residents leads to frustrations and expose local governance structures to possible civil actions. Citizens may also increase frustrations with the democratic structures may also lead to reduced political participation during elections as a result of citizen apathy. Citizen apathy is usually caused by lack of confidence in the administrative processes (Wyman, 2001). It is however important to point out that authorities are often apprehensive of civil engagement in policymaking for fear of citizens hijacking refined policy procedures or raising expectations beyond realistic limits.
Be that as it may, there is no denying that community is central to the policies established by the local authorities or indeed any form of government at whichever level. As such, the role of city residents in all phases of public policy development defines the triumph or failure of the various developmental programs within the city.
Fishkin JS. (1997). The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy. New Haven: Yale
Fung, A. 2006. “Democracy and the Policy Process”. In Oxford Handbook of Public Policy
Martin Rein, Michael Moran and Robert E. Goodin, (eds.). New York: Oxford University Press
Lukensmeyer, J. and Torres, H. (2006). Public Deliberation: A Manager’s Guide to Citizen
Engagement. The IBM Center for The Business of Government. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/files/documents/ostp/opengov_inbox/ibmpubdelib.pdf
Phillips, D., and Orsini, M. (2002). Mapping the Links: Citizen Involvement in Policy Processes.
Canadian Policy Research Networks. Retrieved from http://www.cprn.org/documents/11418_en.pdf
Sheedy, A. (2008). Handbook on Citizen Engagement: Beyond Consultation. Canadian Policy
Research Networks. Retrieved from https://atrium.lib.uoguelph.ca/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10214/3133/Sheedy_Handbook_on_Citizen_Engagement-_Beyond_Consultation_complete.pdf?sequence=26
Wyman, M. (2001). Thinking about Governance: A Discussion Paper. The Commonwealth
Foundation Citizens and Governance Programme. Retrieved from www.democracyeducation.net/Publications/publications.htm.