Welcome to Public Square!

Public Square is about building better local democracies, where citizens participate more in local decision-making.

We are supporting this by sharing learning from Democratic Society’s work in local democracy across Europe. But also by connecting up the great work being done by others, and sharing the learning that is out there.

This site is a place where you can find useful resources, make connections, and ask questions.

About us

We’ve created this site as a place to share learning from Democratic Society’s own local democracy work but also to celebrate and share what others are doing too. As it grows, it will be a place for everyone to build connections, share your own learning, and ask questions. We have also been running physical and online events to connect up anyone trying to improve local democracy.

Please share your stories, spark new ideas through dialogue in the chat and help us promote your events. Dive in to explore, ask, suggest, connect and share.

Public Square is run by Democratic Society. It was initially set up with funding from Luminate.

The history of Public Square

Public Square was launched as a programme of action research. In our first year we worked in partnershp with the civic tech provider, mySociety. Together we focused on four places in the UK where we worked with councils and residents to understand how to improve local democracies. You can learn more about this in the ‘Experiments’ section of this site.

We recognised that there is lots of innovation already happening, but it doesn’t always join-up and lead to lasting change. So we set up this site and have been running a series of events to connect people, share each other’s learning, and celebrate what is already being achieved, in the UK and beyond.

What we do

At Democratic Society we work across Europe delivering practical projects to improve local democracy. You can read more about some of our projects and what we are learning along the way in ‘Our Experiments’ below. To find out about the full range of our work please visit Democratic Society’s main site.

A small group laughing together around a table in a workshop.

Library and Resources

We’re pulling together useful stuff about making better local democracies. So here you can find:

  • Inspiring stories about people being more involved in local decisions.
  • Templates and tools from our work that you can pick up, adapt and use.
  • Any other good things we could get our hands on: blog posts, reports, videos...

This is a living library, so if you have something you’d like to share, please get in touch! We’d love to include your story, resources or ideas.

Featured resources

View all

Our Experiments

At Democratic Society we deliver practical projects to improve participation in local democracy. As part of our work we capture learning about how to improve participation. We think this learning should be available to everyone.

Here you can find out about some of our ongoing experiments in local democracy, and what we’ve learnt from previous work.

Featured experiments

View all


Here you can find out about upcoming events - both ours and events others are running. You can also find information from past events to keep you in the loop.

Featured events

View all

We do not support Internet Explorer. Please use a modern browser for a better experience.