TU Delft TPM partners in Horizon project ‘DUST’ - Democratising jUst Sustainability Transitions

News - 01 February 2023 - Webredactie

The project Democratising jUst Sustainability Transitions (DUST) was selected for funding by the European Commission Horizon Europe programme. DUST will develop and operationalise novel participatory instruments for proactive and strategic citizen engagement in sustainability transitions.Trivik Verma of the faculty of TPM will contribute to the project by supporting the development of an open-source public participation platform. Verena Balz of the faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment will lead the 3-year project that is launched on 1 February 2023.

DUST will combine design-led territorial tools with digital tools for citizen deliberation at scale. The project addresses a defining societal and democratic challenge for Europe, which is to hear the voices of least engaged communities, especially in structurally weak regions dependent on energy-intensive industries, which will be most affected by transitions towards a more sustainable future. Building on the concept of ‘active subsidiarity’, the project will employ an innovative mix of research methods, and experimental citizen participation, to understand the determinants of participation in decision-making on sustainability transitions at different levels of government, and to develop effective policy recommendations for inclusive engagement of civil society.

Innovation potential

In its assessment of the proposal, the EU has highlighted “the innovation potential that arises from a scalable model, focusing on a wide variety of scenarios and involving civil society in deliberation and co-creation policies”, and DUST’s interdisciplinary approach, which “convincingly integrates knowledge from political sciences, policy sciences, planning, and design”. The DUST experiments, which will - under the header Regional Futures Literacy Labs - test a hybrid format of design-led and digital tools for citizen deliberation at scale, are described as essential work.

About the programme

DUST receives funding from the European Commission Horizon Europe programme ‘The future of democracy and civic participation’ (Grant Agreement ID: 101094869), with a budget of 2.7 million euros. It is led by TU Delft, with a highly competent and enthusiastic consortium comprising 13 partner institutions across Europe. In the context of eroding democratic institutions, the European Union (EU) – in collaboration with national, regional, and local governments - seeks to bring its policies closer to citizens, in line with the active subsidiarity principle.