'Friends of the Stiemer' is a citizen panel initiated in 2019 that is involved in supporting the Stiemer Valley (Genk, Belgium) development process by providing feedback and supporting the narrative around the valley and its severe water issues (e.g. the overflowing of sewage water into the canalized creek during heavy rainfalls). This initiative was developed during the finalizing stage of the Masterplan for the Redevelopment of the Stiemer Valley. The aim of the initiative was to guarantee sustainable citizen involvement for new developments and actions within the valley after the masterplan's participatory process had concluded. The city is using this initiative to prototype a new governance structure and community engagement approach for empowering local residents to become ambassadors and caretakers of the Stiemer Valley. Supported by a communication and participation strategy, the city hopes to use the citizen panel as a tool to increase transparency, support social cohesion and realize behavioral change. The strategy includes giving citizens insights on the agenda of the city, as well as the (sometimes cumbersome processes behind) decision-making, while also capturing the wishes of the citizens. Furthermore, it includes the coproduction and implementation of actions, events and other initiatives.