What Is Participatory Budgeting? A Proposed MTC Pilot Project and Brief Lit Review
According to the Participatory Budgeting Project, participatory budgeting (PB):
... is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.
PB has been around internationally for some time and recently PB projects have been implemented locally on a limited scale in both Vallejo and Oakland. Since 2012, the City of Vallejo has engaged over 15,000 residents in allocating nearly $7 million for 25 local projects. In Oakland, over 1,200 residents of two City Council Districts helped decide how to spend nearly $800,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to benefit low-and moderate-income residents.
Here at MTC, staff are proposing to pilot PB projects through the next cycle of the Community-Based Transportation Planning (CBPT) Program, set to run from 2017-2021, which the MTC Planning Committee will consider this month. In addition, up to $1 million will be set aside from the Lifeline Transportation Program to support projects identified through the CBPT process (see here for more information about proposed guidelines for the latest cycle of the Lifeline Program). Stay tuned as developments continue on this front in the new year...
In the meantime, though, Julie Tunnell - head librarian of the MTC-ABAG Library - pulled together this handy review of some of the prominent literature (academic and otherwise) on PB. Collectively, these pieces give a good sense of the mechanics, promises and occasional perils of participatory budgeting:
Background & Exploration
- Participatory budgeting
- Participatory budgeting: a significant contribution to participatory democracy
- Participatory Budgeting in the United States: What Is Its Role?
- A Guide to Participatory Budgeting
- Participatory Budget Formation Through the Web
- Is Participatory Budgeting Real Democracy?
- On deciding how to decide: Designing participatory budget processes - Abstract only, payment required for full text
In The News
- Participatory Budgeting Fans Say State DOT’s Embrace Is “Revolutionary”
- In 2012, the Vallejo City Council established the first city-wide PB process in the United States...
Case Studies & Examples
- Participatory Budgeting in Europe: Potentials and Challenges
- Participatory Budgeting in Poland – Missing Link in Urban Regeneration Process
- Participatory budgeting in a Sri Lankan urban council: A practice of power and domination
- Popular Participation in the Management of Transportation: the Experience of Porto Alegre, Brazil
- Testing the Empowerment Thesis: The Participatory Budget in Belo Horizonte and Betim, Brazil
- Civil society, public space and local power: A study of the participatory budget in Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre
- Participatory Democracy, Decentralization and Local Governance: the Montreal Participatory Budget in the light of ‘Empowered Participatory Governance’
- Social inclusion through participation: the case of the participatory budget in Sao Paulo
- THE PORTO ALEGRE THERMIDOR? BRAZIL’S ‘PARTICIPATORY BUDGET’ AT THE CROSSROADS
- Participatory Budgeting and the Poor: Tracing Bias in a Multi-Staged Process in Solo, Indonesia - Abstract only, payment required for full text
- Self-help or public housing? Lessons from co-managed slum upgrading via participatory budget - Abstract only, payment required for full text
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