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Start your own city repair platform: practical info

You are convinced that a city repair platform would be a good way to give a stage to the repair community in your city, and want to get into the practical details on how to proceed.

Below, we share an overview of the practical steps for organising this kind of project, as well as the basic costs for joining the shared Sharepair city platforms.

Step 1: confirm or refine the online strategy for your city

Any good website starts with a clear online strategy, representing concrete goals. For the Sharepair cities (who launched Leuven Fixt, Heel Apeldoorn Repareert, Roeselare Repareert and Repair Studio), the goals were formulated as follows:

End goal

To raise awareness about repair in local city communities, by providing citizens information and tools related to the local and general repair scene.

Sub-Goals contributing to the End Goal

  • raising awareness for repair among citizens and inspire citizens to repair more;

  • presenting cities as green and exemplary cities, together with the citizens;

  • contributing to existing research surveys and results;

  • giving local (repair) initiatives, events and repair heroes more visibility

  • Extrapolate the impact (what if more/all people would do this in the city) = potential impact of repair (on 25 tons goal of the project).

Based on these goals, the different workflows, content types and navigation structure for the existing city repair platforms were developed. If your city prefers to put a different focus, it is possible that the digital approach should be slightly different.

Before starting up a project, make sure all eyes are looking in the same direction, and common expectations are clear.

Step 2: gather a team

Think about who is going to coordinate the set up of the city repair platform: is it your city's communication department? Or someone from the local Repair Café?

The set up is the easy part. Once the city repair website is live, it needs to be a living tool with events, news... locals contributing to the story. As you know, strong communication always needs some coordination.

  • Who will take up that role in your city?
  • Can you appoint one responsible?
  • Can you gather a small team?
  • Or are there any volunteers?
  • Can you build a consortium of different (local) partners who will promote and/or feed the city website?

Step 3: define the best technical approach for your city

The technical implementation of your city repair website will have to be done by a technical (digital) partner, before you and your team can actually start using the website.

Decide on whether you want to hop in the shared Sharepair framework, or to work on an customized website of your own (for example to fully integrate with the existing city communication strategy).

Don't hesitate to ask for our advice on the different options.

Step 4: develop your city platform

Any project will start with a set up phase where you will design, develop and fill the website with content. In case your city decides to step in the shared framework, the preparatory steps include the following:

  • a kickoff meeting about platform structure & contents: what elements do you want to present on your city platform? Who will decide and coordinate? The existing Sharepair platforms can guide you in terms of interesting functionalities and user flows, but you can choose to focus more or less on some of them, or to do things differently of course.
  • decide on the name of your city repair platform, and other (e.g. graphic) elements that will bring in the local identity (e.g. do you want to have a custom city illustration for the homepage header?).
  • a content creation phase where your team will have to prepare a first set of local content for the different content types present in your city repair website (events, repair heroes, news, map...). You can of course base yourself on the content the Sharepair cities have already created, but refine it, and especially create specific content that shows the dynamics of repair in your city.
  • a local repair actors mapping project: one of the goals of the city platform is to make the local repair scene and its different actors more visible. When launching a city platform, it is a good idea to make a first mapping of local players, and make sure they are present on the European Repair Map.
  • an online training session will lead the way in how to edit the website, add content, and customize it to your city. You can watch the previous training session here.
  • actual content input and testing of the platform before go live.

Of course these steps remain relevant if you decide not to work with the existing framework for city repair website, but with a custom version.

Step 5: set your communication strategy

Let's be realistic: no one will visit a city repair website if it is not part of an active communication campaign.

Make sure to define:

How your city will make citizens aware of the city repair platform:

  • can you publish some stories or articles in the city magazine?
  • can you share the message in certain newsletters?
  • can existing social channels play a role?
  • in which places would you make the city campaign visible?
  • which actors could be a lever to the campaign?

How you will connect with local repair heroes and groups to share their stories and events:

  • can you make a list of people who are at the core of local repair?
  • do you know how to approach them and ask them to join the campaign?

How you will continue feeding the city repair website over time:

  • who will be the project lead who makes sure the necessary steps are taken to create the right dynamic?
  • what are these 'necessary steps' for your city? (e.g. feedback & exchange sessions with the core community, monthly reminders to share new stories & events, an city repair newsletter that highlights new activities, stories, actors...)

What does it cost to set up our own city repair website?

Initial set up costs: around €3000

This cost estimate includes the following tasks led by Statik:

  • kickoff meeting & compact analysis of city's needs
  • technical setup of the city repair website
  • technical preparation of go live & tracking

Each city can decide to add extra support or customized functionalities in this setup phase (e.g. a customized hero illustration for your city, or a personal training session and follow up support).

Recurring external costs: depending on the number of cities participating

Individual per city:

  • yearly domain name cost: +- €30
  • costs for newsletter platform (if any)

Shared by all cities:

Currently +- €5,520.00 / year with 4 cities (€1,380.00 / city / year), including

  • yearly website hosting cost
  • yearly cost for support & updates
  • yearly renewal cost for license updates CMS

This shared cost per city decreases slightly when it can be shared amongst more participating cities. To give an example:

  • 5 cities: €1,164 / year / city
  • 6 cities: €1,020 / year / city
  • 7 cities: €960 / year / city
  • 8 cities: €877.50 / year / city

All estimated costs are referring to VAT excl. prices.