WESH Heerlen
To explain how We.Service.Heerlen (WESH) actually stimulates civic participation in the city of Heerlen, we have produced a documentary-style video in which participants and key leaders of the project share their experiences with 'Heerlens Heitje'. Check out the video below!

Giving citizens pride in their help

It all began by creating a digital way to stimulate civic participation, as well as tidying up the public space and supporting local entrepreneurs. After a meticulous preparation of the integrated concept, the WESH project was launched in the beginning of 2021. After a kick-off in two neighbourhoods, the public maintenance tasks became available in all city districts half a year later. Starting off with mostly intrinsic motivated volunteers performing the tasks, the rewarding in the form of local cryptocurrency eventually also attracted and stimulated other citizens. This meant extra earnings for both the local population as well as the city’s shops. The biggest plus of course is giving citizens pride in their help in improving the quality of their neighbourhood.

The story of WESH so far

The documentary-style video of 5:30 minutes below, tells the story of WESH so far, from the perspective of the participants as well as the key city leaders. Having Heerlen’s citizens bob-a-job via their smartphone for almost a year, the involved organisations are seeing their much anticipated joint vision into live action. More interestingly, is hearing the stories of participating citizens and local entrepreneurs. Their first-hand experiences of the jobs done and the coins spent, provide valuable lessons on how ‘Heerlens Heitje’ works for them. We now see fruitful benefits and note better understanding in order to steer the further implementation.

About this resource

Harald WOUTERS, UIA Expert
Heerlen, The Netherlands Small sized cities (50k > 250k)
About UIA
Urban Innovative Actions

The Urban Innovative Actions (UIA) is a European Union initiative that provided funding to urban areas across Europe to test new and unproven solutions to urban challenges. The initiative had a total ERDF budget of €372 million for 2014-2020.

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