This is an archived version of
Citizens of the Round Table | Civic Europe
Community development, Social inclusion

Citizens of the Round Table

Fulfiling our hopes and dreams through our own collective power in a forgotten part of an European capital


Who is behind this?

Amandine Bouillet

Associação de Moradores Viver Melhor no Beato



Idea pitch

Round tables with citizens of neighbourhoods of Lisbon that feel neglected and don’t have access to meaningful public participation to share ideas and make them happen. These round tables will have moments of presentation of projects and, at the same time, of selecting the ideas that the residents themselves want to see financed. In this way, we will work both empowerment and the improvement of the neighbourhoods at the same time with mostly unemployed people and with low levels of education.

Where will your project idea take place?

Beato, Lisbon, Portugal

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

There are several basic needs unfulfilled in this region of Lisbon, both felt on the individual, community and territorial levels. Oftenly, the residents themselves have ideas to improve their neighbourhoods and quality of life but not the means to put them into practice. Also, there is a strong communitarian disconnect that round tables with all residents willing to participate would help solve by dialogue and the collaborative construction of solutions to common problems and issues. As previously mentioned, the citizens have lost faith in public authorities due to past promises never kept and non-participative decision making processes and therefore feel the need to take hold of their own present and futures by implementing the projects and ideas they feel their neighbourhoods need most.

Who are you doing it for?

The residents of the four different priority intervention neighbourhoods of the Beato parish in Lisbon, Portugal. Although there are two main different types of housing types in the territory - provided by the municipality or cooperatives - the problems are identical. These issues range from the lack of green spaces or sports facilities / outdoor spaces for children and youth, difficulty in accessing social, economical and health services, quality housing access and management, roads and pedestrian paths, educational - including life-long learning -, communitarian spirit and common decision making processes, relation with public authorities, lack of occupational activities - sports, artistic, reflection moments, capacity building, trainings -, isolation, exclusion, digital inclusion, etc.

How do you plan to get there?

1 - Organisation of at least 12 round tables by the project’s team and with the help of additional residents of the neighbourhoods’ organisation. These round tables will be structured so as to firstly identify in a collective manner the several issues and problems within the neighbourhood and affecting its respective residents, prioritize them and search for solutions. The solutions can be presented within this moment or during the course of the following week by either individuals or groups of residents and they have to be feasible, within the allocated budget and contribute to the neighbourhood’s common good; The round tables will include socializing moments and a meal provided to the participants.
2 - Projects of communitarian innovation. From the ideas and projects presented in the round tables, the residents will be asked to vote on the ones they feel are more important and, acoording to this process, the individuals or groups of people responsible for presenting them will receive funding and assistance to implement their initiatives. Each initiative will be monitored and evaluated in the round tables.
3 - Video documentation of this project done by a resident with expertize in audiovisual recording and editing in order to give positive visibility to the neighbourhoods of intervention and respective residents and disseminate the project’s progress and results.

What are the expected results?

1 - At least 12 round tables organized - one each month of the project’s duration as a minimum - with at least 20 people each participating in a collaborative manner to identify issues and approve solutions;
2 - 30 to 40 projects promoted by the neighbourhoods of intervention’ residents financed and implemented during the 12 month proposed duration. All projects financed will be structured, feasible and serve the common good;
3 - Improved life quality - especially in the areas of occupational activities, health, social inclusion, education, community spirit and civic engagement - in at least 120 participants;
4 - Better integration of these specific neighbourhoods in the city of Lisbon and improved relationship between residents and public authorities.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The project seeks to empower residents to solve their own issues and create an interactive and productive dialogue on problems and solutions. It necessarily implies active citizenship and political engagement of the participants since the main goal is to find solutions to social, economical, cultural and urbanistic issues the residents themselves will identify. As previously mentioned, the participants of this project will be residents that have no real or practical means of being politically involved and are not consulted with even in decisions that affect their neighbourhoods directly. Hence, this project is a solution not only for political engagement but also political inclusion and to provide hope and a realistic methodology for them to find and use their voices in a constructive way.

Why is this idea important to you?

The team is composed of three residents of the neighbourhoods of intervention and two people that work in them and with VMBA for at least two years. The need reflected in this application comes not only from this group but from the hundreds of citizens we support that share the many and diverse issues and problems they have to deal with every day, most of which are quite dramatic and don’t happen in other parts of Lisbon. There are also two different groups that have gathered each week to discuss the neighbourhood’s problems and find solutions collectively and that is why we believe we have the right and adequate structure to receive funding and are completely committed to assisting the residents with their ideas and to improve the neighbourhoods we live and/ or work in.

€ 29020,-

Total budget

€ 29020,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

30 residents / community ideas financed. Average of 750€ per project; = 22’500€
Documentation and video creation / editing of the project = 2920
Monthly gatherings of the round table with provided meals = 3’600€



Idea created on April 23, 2021

Write comment