Bordeaux Métropole has been pursuing an active policy to include citizens for several years. It has been working to implement and develop actions to help citizens cope with the digital changes we are facing today :
- Provide very high-speed access for all : The Metropolitan area of Bordeaux and operators are working together to provide to all residents of the city a very high-speed access by 2022. Indeed, one of the first markers of the digital divide is the lack of effective communications infrastructures. On this subject, Bordeaux was concerned very early on about the digital development of its territory, whether it was to meet the needs of individuals or businesses. Very high-speed access has been able to be deployed to a large extent to benefit as many people as possible.
- Bringing the e-education in focus : Bordeaux Métropole invests in equal opportunities in digital technologies from an early age, equipping school children with quality digital environments through the deployment of digital equipment in schools (480 digital boards and interactive video projectors, 1500 tablets, robot kits...). This policy provides access to up-to-date content, cultural elements, documentary holdings, etc., in all schools.
- Deploying digital solidarity : The development of digital technologies in the everyday actions of civic and social life constitutes a major change in the environment of both citizens and those responsible for supporting the most fragile of them. That’s why the city of Bordeaux has implemented an action plan in favour of digital solidarity :
- Make an inventory of digital : A diagnosis of the situation in terms of digital solidarity in the territory made it possible to draw up an inventory of the situation, to meet the gazes, to enumerate the initiatives. Its conclusions are set out in a "White book on Digital Solidarity". They remind us of the main issues in the fight against the digital divide.
- Training social actors : Only social actors have a privileged contact with the most vulnerable public. They can be the missing link between these people in multiple fractures and access to rights on the condition that they have some mastery of digital. This is why the city of Bordeaux has been offering a training in Digital Solidarity since 2018 to all public and associative social actors in Bordeaux for 5 days on digital issues directly related to their business and more particularly access to rights.
- Implementation of a Digital Council : on July 10, 2019, the city of Bordeaux launched its « Digital Council ». Its members come from the private, associative, academic and public sectors. Its objective is to bring to life the reflection and the proposals for a digital at the service of the citizen.
- Making data transparency : Since 2011, Bordeaux Métropole has made available to everyone an interactive space for the dissemination and exploitation of public data from the metropolis and its municipalities. Everyone can easily access to the following datas : urban planning and development, institution, travel, neighbourhood, nature, water and sanitation, public space. In total, nearly 250 “data sets” are made available to all by Bordeaux Métropole. https://opendata.bordeaux-metropole.fr/
The Declaration of Cities Coalition for Digital Rights signed by the President of Bordeaux Métropole on 18 July 2019 is a strong and engaging gesture showing that the city of Bordeaux and its metropolis want to take part in more in digital policy. It is also an opportunity to get closer to cities that are asking the same questions and to gather, from them, examples of solutions implemented. This type of very rich exchange is also a way of anticipating certain problems or phenomena that have hit other cities before us. Together with the signing of this charter, Bordeaux Métropole undertakes to implement the following actions :
- To lead a public data policy involving citizens and the business ecosystem. In this context, promote open standards for the data and interfaces used in its computer systems and those of cities that have transferred their systems to the Digital Common Service.
- Associate users systematically with the expression of needs, launch tests and evaluation of selected solutions.
- Ensure transparency in the use of collected datas; increase the opportunities given to citizens to contribute to the metropolitan data heritage.
- Associate with each launch of a new digital service a support and information action for citizens.
- Fighting the digital divide across our territory. Invite the agents of Bordeaux Métropole to engage in coaching for inclusion in the form of volunteering skill.
- Extend this action within the administration, to ensure the upgrading and support of agents who are also subject to the continual renewal of their digital tools: train and inform them, creating communities of use on digital behaviour and know-how.
- Exchange regularly on our progress with the other signatory cities and learn about their concrete implementation of the charter.
Bordeaux Métropole is committed to bringing together a community of users to engage them in the design of usage and service policies. It wants to put in place various measures that concretely and directly involve citizens :
- More interview on the ground : Starting from the realization that a large percentage of the expected audience did not go to meet the places, the tools and the people available for the support to the transition of digital, a reflection is being conducted to develop an approach of social intervention of proximity by going directly to the public concerned. This action, which may be akin to a “door to door” in certain neighbourhoods, is intended to reach out to people, to know the reality of a neighbourhood, and to establish, through listening and empathy, a sufficiently fine link to involve the person in the adventure, always a little impressive, of a training, a workshop, a session of initiation to one of the aspects of digital.
- Rethinking the interfaces of public services : based on the observation that a large part of the difficulties encountered are largely due to the heterogeneity of the interfaces or their confused character, Bordeaux Métropole will conduct a reflection on the adoption of an accessibility standard and make it a rule to be respected, by entering it in the specifications of its websites, systematically.
- Creating a participatory group system : The common service, intended to support the digital policies of Bordeaux Métropole and the majority of municipalities, is a significant element of the local digital landscape. Today, the dialogue and the association of digital users with its reflections become in turn important elements. The idea of implementing digital policies and the idea of involving citizens who make up the population are becoming almost inseparable. It is a question of including and involving the citizen in the digital, internal and then public discussion throughout the year. This is to ensure the best responsiveness and coherence of policies with the needs identified on the ground. But also to give, in the struggle for priorities, a particular weight to the expectations formalised by the public, and to thwart the natural tendency of organizations to prioritize their internal issues. Digital can provide (and should benefit from) a regular mechanism to identify new needs, expectations, uses and services expected by users and have a real and positive impact on the road maps of public use policies.
(Header picture by ©Arthur Pequin pour Bordeaux Métropole)