In June of 2015, Rotterdam introduced the Dutch version of the British Right to Challenge, bringing citizens an innovative form of participation. Local communities are given the right to challenge the municipality by taking the initiative when it comes to how local public services are run if they feel that they can do better.
Leveraging knowledge and talents
The people of Rotterdam know what goes on in their neighbourhoods and what local residents need. Right to Challenge enables them to leverage their knowledge and talents for the benefit of the community and the city. They can take over the management of a playground or a neighbourhood centre, for example, or take collective responsibility for the community landscaping maintenance or refuse collection.
An important advantage of Right to Challenge is that the initiative to take over local public services or municipal tasks will not cost more than the currently available budget. Moreover, the idea is that the challenges should add value to the community.