Knowledge centre for neighbourhoods and citizen engagement

Knowledge centre for neighbourhoods and citizen engagement

Meet with our experts in an annual strategy session per programme. Count on their guidance and advice with your local projects.

Our programmes

Community care

Community care

Our view

Hoplr brings people together who have nothing in common but their place of residence. We connect citizens with different backgrounds, mother tongues, opinions, cultures and ages around all kinds of neighbourhood-related themes. Even though these contacts are often short and superficial, they form an important link within the everyday support network. Because of its proximity, the neighbourhood offers an enormous potential of skills, knowledge, time, materials,... In other words, Hoplr makes the neighbourhood's social capital more accessible, which leads to more inclusion and engagement within the local community.

No local community = no inclusion | No engagement = no citizen participation


Our expertise

Our experts have a heart, soul and gift for bringing people together. By connecting stakeholders and (physically) entering into dialogue, they activate the social capital of the neighbourhood. Behind the scenes, they work on the social fabric of the Hoplr neighbourhoods and assist our clients with strategy sessions for online and offline community work.

Call on our experts for your project:

  • Developing community-building initiatives
  • Matching help requests and offers
  • Stakeholder management and community building
  • Analysis of the social DNA
  • Organisation of neighbourhood activities
  • ...
Community care

Communication

Communication

Our view

Every neighbourhood has a communication infrastructure. It consists of the channels through which residents receive and share news, ideas, opinions, requests for help,... about the neighbourhood. But also the interactions with other stakeholders such as local governments, public organisations and project developers make up an important part of the local communication infrastructure. All of this contributes to the knowledge, engagement and social cohesion within the neighbourhood.

In other words, a well-functioning communication infrastructure is crucial in stimulating neighbour help, public support and citizen participation.

Neighbourhood communication leads to higher engagement. Conversely, a strong community is engaged and mobilised more easily.


Our Expertise

Clear communication is not just an art in itself. It is an important responsibility when it comes to neighbourhood-related matters: public support creation, environmental communication, sensitisation, activation, etc. Based on a communication plan and accessible language, our experts convey your message clearly.

Call on our experts for your project:

  • Maximising participation
  • Designing a communication campaign
  • Public support and expectation management
  • Accessible writing (complex or sensitive matters)
  • Stimulating and moderating dialogue
  • ...
Communication

Public participation

Public participation

Our view

With Hoplr in your city, you stimulate engagement on the level of the neighbourhood. Social cohesion, physical meetings and involvement are the basic requirements to achieve meaningful citizen engagement. It is all about conversation, working together and often getting your hands dirty. Move from communicating to participating. A smart city listens, knows what is going on and works on a more qualitative decision making process, in collaboration with its inhabitants.

Public participation through Hoplr shifts the focus from the individual to the local community. This way, we involve the silent majority.


Our expertise

Citizen participation is an important task that brings along various challenges. Which method is most suitable? How do you safeguard representativeness? How do you translate a policy question into a participation question? What conclusions can you draw from a survey? Our participation experts are academic profiles who get excited by both data analysis and fieldwork.

  • Call on our experts for your project:
  • Stimulating citizen initiatives
  • Plan of action for participation projects
  • Moderate offline participation moments
  • Designing and conducting citizen surveys
  • Processing, analysis and reporting
  • ...
Public participation

Neighbourhood scan

Neighbourhood scan

Hoplr firmly believes in the power of the collective. The social capital of a neighbourhood provides residents with everything they need to face local challenges. By mapping diverse stakeholders and their potential, residents and local organisations become aware of the immense value of neighbourhood relations. This enables them to take action more independently, which positively impacts public support and increases the chances of success.

"A neighbourhood scan is an analysis of the neighbourhood, for the neighbourhood, by the neighbourhood. Only in a collaborative manner can we make community members aware, engage and mobilise them."


Our knowledge centre is the team par excellence to carry out an impactful neighbourhood analysis. Community management, data analysis and neighbourhood work: three elements that are indispensable in order to work together towards warm and sustainable neighbourhoods. And, coincidentally, all three themes about which our team has plenty of knowledge, experience and enthusiasm.

  • Project design
  • Representative sample
  • In-depth interviews
  • Moderation workshops
  • Extensive reporting
  • ...
Neighbourhood scan

Case studies

Case study: 5 ways the municipality of Waalwijk works on clean neighbourhoods with residents

The municipality of Waalwijk uses neighbourhood communication and citizen participation to create attractive neighbourhoods. In this article, we share five examples of how the municipality is using Hoplr to keep the neighbourhoods of Waalwijk beautiful and clean.
Neighbourhood communication
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Case study: municipality of Opwijk on handling the corona pressure

City councils, too, faced some difficult challenges during the corona crisis. The council of Opwijk looks for answers to these challenges in function of, and even supported by the local community. Information management coordinator at Opwijk council, Caroline Verschueren, elaborates.
Community building
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Case Study: city of Halle consults citizens at street level with verified survey

Citizen participation comes in all shapes and sizes. It simply means: inviting citizens to help shape society. With Hoplr, the city of Halle offers its citizens both a communication line for dialogue and a platform for initiatives, climbing all steps of the participation ladder. In this case study, we’ll demonstrate how the City of Halle takes various initiatives to engage its citizens.
Citizen participation
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Hoplr in The Hague: results after a successful pilot

In 6 months time, over 4,100 households (12%) have registered in the 10 neighbourhoods that were selected for the Hoplr pilot in The Hague. Neighbours post an average of 100 messages and 730 comments per week, counting for a total of 66,000 interactions. 72% of the registered households visit Hoplr at least once per week.
Community building
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City of Bruges on Hoplr examples and numbers

Hoplr made its debut in the Venice of the North at the end of 2018: a pilot project in collaboration with the City of Bruges. 14 neighbourhoods are activated – which accounts for some 3,500 registered households, more than 5,000 messages and 45,000 responses. But what’s most noteworthy after a couple of months of Hoplr in Bruges? The engagement among citizens.
Community building
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Trailblazer municipality Olen enhances local community feeling

Olen was one of the very first municipalities to get started with our Service Dashboard, back in 2017. Their goal was to connect citizens, and enhance the local community feeling. Today, well over a third of all households are registered on Hoplr, and the municipality has become an expert in using the platform for relevant citizen communication.
Community care and inclusion
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Municipality Sint-Katelijne-Waver concludes successful participation project

Inhabitants of Sint-Katelijne-Waver were asked nine questions on Hoplr in July 2019. The questions covered various topics such as mobility, housing and environment. The project was an overwhelming success: 1,657 registered households cast a total of 2,207 votes and posted 190 additional comments. A total of about 5,600 households live in the municipality of Sint-Katelijne-Waver.
Citizen participation
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High engagement on first citizen participation project in Boechout

At the beginning of this year, the brand-new board of Boechout presented its new policy note to the city council. At least, a first version. The municipality gave its residents the opportunity to help shape the final policy note on the basis of 10 statements. Hoplr is community-driven and stimulates citizen engagement, making the online neighbourhood network an ideal platform for citizen participation.
Citizen participation
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Mechelen and Hoplr: where it all began

Mechelen, such a great city. The authentic setting, filled with culture, friendly people, picturesque squares, … But what makes it such an amazing place to us? It was the very first city to help build Hoplr’s future! Summer of 2016: a first contact with the department of Neighbourhood and Village Affairs is made. From the very start, it was clear to us that the City of Mechelen considers neighbourhood communication to be extremely important. By the time autumn arrived, we had already kicked off with a Hoplr pilot project.
Community building
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Neighbourhood communication: City of Antwerp and Noorderlijn

Roadworks happen all the time, but you have to admit, if you know about the detour beforehand, your week would start off a lot better. And that is why we believe it is essential that project developers communicate with the members of the neighbourhoods they operate in. In this article you will read why and how project developers such as the Flemish Government Agency for roads and traffic, Strabag, Revive, Cores development and Noorderlijn use Hoplr.
Citizen communication
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Documentation

Citizen participation:

Hoplr functionalities for citizen participation with the local community
Hoplr makes it easy for citizens to rely on each other and on the social capital of the local community. Social cohesion, offline meetings and local engagement are the basic requirements for achieving meaningful inclusion and citizen participation.

Positivity in neighbourhoods:

How we keep our communities positive and constructive
Social media lead to radicalisation. You often hear or read it. But why is that? Is it even true? And how do we make sure the Hoplr neighbourhoods remain positive? Traditional social media are focused on the individual. A feed tailored to one’s ideas and interests, and filled up with advertisements; it can lead to a distorted worldview.

Practical Examples:

Citizen communication through Hoplr
It’s Hoplr’s mission to bring neighbours closer together. But that’s not all we’re in for. By facilitating citizen communication, citizen participation and community care, we aim to bridge the gap between local governments and their citizens. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at which messages are most commonly posted by external parties, each accompanied by some real life examples.

Community care:

Inspiration and 10 practical tips to digitally stimmulate community care
An inclusive local community is one where neigbours know and take care of one another. As a community worker, you're looking for ways to stimulate social cohesion and care among members of the local community. Digital neighbourhood network Hoplr can undoubtedly be of help. Let us inspire you with these 10 practical tips.

Reaching citizens:

How municipalities are successfully extending their reach on Hoplr
In municipalities Boechout, Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Bornem, Schilde, Hove, Olen, Mechelen, Veurne, Ranst and Kalmthout, 30 to 40% of all households are registered on Hoplr. This is because some local governments consistently take actions to promote the neighbourhood network among citizens.