A citizen summit to explore what citizens considered necessary for a healthy and caring city in the context of the decentralization of social policies, it has been argued that increasing responsibilities of citizens for care require a strengthening of local democracy. Inspired by this, in the city of maastricht a citizen summit was organized to explore what citizens considered necessary for a healthy and caring city. The procedure of random selection of participants combined with oversampling in disadvantaged neighborhoods was relatively fruitful in realizing a rather diverse public. The experiment proved that citizens and local politics both valued this process. On this summit citizens have made clear that a participation society not only requires responsible and motivated citizens but also a public policy that enables an urban ecology – public meeting places – as a basis for community care.