Bruggebaas: Bridging the Gap Between Kids and City Policies
Bruges, a city committed to creating a child-friendly environment, introduced an innovative initiative called Bruggebaas. This groundbreaking project empowers children and teenagers to actively participate in shaping the city’s policies. Bruggebaas, designed as a gamified survey, enables young citizens to voice their opinions on topics that matter to them. The initiative is a collaborative effort between the city’s Jeugddienst Brugge, Vives Hogeschool, and Bits of Love.
Engaging children and teenagers in the decision-making process of a city is a historical challenge faced by governments. The primary challenge was to design over 60 questions as an effective survey with questions that were easy to understand, answers that were readily accessible, and a comfortable response format. Additionally, the initiative required tailoring the design and user interface to the specific preferences and capabilities of kids in their senior years of primary and secondary school.
Bits of Love, committed to edtech and social innovation, spearheaded the conceptual definition and development of the Bruggebaas initiative. We initiated the process by designing clear and accessible survey questions, ensuring ease of understanding and comfortable responses. We conducted thorough user testing within dedicated test classes of senior elementary and secondary school students. This feedback allowed us to fine-tune the survey’s user experience to align precisely with the preferences and capabilities of our target audience.
Subsequently, we transformed the entire survey into an engaging gamified narrative. Each question was presented individually, featuring age-appropriate copy and a user-friendly game interface. This approach not only conveyed information effectively but also made the survey enjoyable.
This initiative marks a significant step towards creating a child-friendly environment in the city by involving children and teenagers in the policy-making process. Bruges sets an inspiring precedent for government engagement with youth. Bruggebaas enjoyed a highly successful first edition, with a remarkable participation of 1,626 enthusiastic young citizens. This included 907 participants from the final year of elementary school and 719 participants from the last year of secondary school. What we learned from their responses? Check out some of the results below!
Bruggebaas is not just a survey, but a pioneering platform that empowers young citizens to actively influence local policymaking and share their perspectives on the city of Bruges. The collaboration between Jeugddienst Brugge, Vives Hogeschool, and Bits of Love exemplifies how creative solutions, tailored to the needs of a target group, can revolutionize civic engagement. As we prepare for the second edition, the future of social innovation with digital tools looks promising, and Bruges remains at the forefront of this exciting movement.
Curious for more? Check out our update about the launch!