Aarhus is the second-largest city in Denmark and the seat of the Aarhus municipality. For many years, the city had no mechanism for citizen participation except voting in city council elections and attending public hearings. As a result, they had no way to capture citizens’ ideas or entrepreneurial thinking. In addition, interest for local policy making had decreased, especially among citizens with lower education, young citizens and citizens not feeling connected to the community. In 2014, city leaders created the Digital Neighborhood, placing urban installations resembling old-fashioned phone booths across the city to capture citizen input while also sharing information with the citizens. The city joined the Cities of Service coalition in 2019.
Mayor Jacob Bundsgaard
Jacob Bundsgaard has served as mayor of Aarhus since 2011. Jacob Bundsgaard has a Master’s degree in political science from Aarhus University, and worked as an analyst before embarking on his political career. His main focus is on creating a cohesive, sustainable city with a healthy welfare system and equal opportunity for all. His strategy for realizing this vision for Aarhus involves closer collaboration with and co-determination by the city’s citizens and civil society, supported by robust employment and business development and with an emphasis on green solutions.
Head of Citizens' Services Lene Hartig Danielsen
As head of Citizens’ Services, which is the citizens’ entry to city and all it’s services, Lene is focused on working closely with the citizens when developing services and creating solutions that work with and not just for the citizens of Aarhus.