The Regional Government of Tuscany was the first in Italy, and probably in Europe, to pass a law  (No. 69 of 2007) expressely aimed to foster citizens participation in public choices and to encourage the diffusion of new methodologies and technologies in the field. This law has found fertile ground in Tuscany’s civic consciousness and social fabric. In its first years of implementation, it has already promoted a good number of significant participatory experiments all over the territory.

To strenghten the impact of these experiments, as well as their internationally visibility, a three-day conference (scheduled in November every year) takes place in the beautiful landscape of Montaione – a small town located right on the border between the provinces of Florence and Siena, which hosted one of the most significant public debates held so far, concerning the definition of a local community’s strategy for environmental preservation and touristic development of a surrounding area to the ancient Mediaeval village of Castelfalfi.

In the framework of the ‘Montaione Days’, the Regional Government has now launched the “Montaione Prize“, to bestow recognition to the best known examples (research and/or implementation projects) of citizens participation worldwide. The scientific committee in charge of the evaluation is made up of the professors: Umberto Allegretti, Loic Blondiaux, Luigi Bobbio, Quim Brugué, Rodolfo Lewanski, Massimo Morisi, Yves Sintomer and Stefano Zamagni. All winners will be invited to the next edition of the conference.

Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2010

Announcement of the results to the parties concerned: 30 September 2010

The full call text in pdf.

Prize categories:

1. Best participatory process worldwide

This prize is awarded to participatory processes that have already been actually implemented, either in Italy or abroad. Candidates shall supply a file of no more than two pages on the project, and which shall include the six points listed in the relevant section of the call. The scientific committee will invite a restricted number of projects to present more detailed documentation in a subsequent phase.

2. Best research paper

This prize is awarded to young Italian or foreign researchers (under 36 years old) for a paper – published or unpublished – 20-40 pages long, focusing on an empirical study of participatory processes. The papers may be written in Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese or English. They will be evaluated by the scientific committee. The winner will get a prize of € 2,000, in addition to the invitation to Montaione.

3. Best participatory process in Tuscany

This prize for the best participatory process carried out in Tuscany will be awarded by a Citizens’ Jury randomly drawn among the Tuscany residents.