Year Two of PB in Chicago

May 23, 2011

Chicago's 49th Ward recently completed its second year of participatory budgeting. See the 49th Ward website for a list of the results.

As Alderman Joe Moore announced afterward:
"Aproximately 1,000 residents of our community cast ballots in this historic election to vote on how to spend the 49th Ward's 2011 capital improvement budget. The voters decided that slightly over half of this year's budget should be devoted to street resurfacing. For the remaining portion of the budget, the voters selected a wide range of proposals, including safety improvements to the Ridge, Touhy, Rogers intersection; new bike lanes and bike racks; upgrades to several Metra viaducts; and improvements to our parks." reporters prepared a video on the process this year, with lots of interviews of participants:

The PB Project is working with other Aldermen to launch new PB processes in additional wards this year. 5th Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston recently introduced her PB plans in her Spring 2011 Newsletter.

Posted by jlerner at 9:07 PM | Permalink | Leave a Comment | RSS

May 16: NYC Panel on PB in Europe

May 2, 2011

The PB Project is sponsoring a talk in NYC on May 16th:


A Panel Discussion with:
Giovanni Allegretti, Coimbra University, Portugal
Ernesto Ganuza, Spanish Scientific Research Council
Moderated by Michael Menser, Brooklyn College/CUNY

4-6PM; ROOM 9204
CUNY Graduate Center
365 5th Avenue, New York City

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Place, Culture and Politics and the
Participatory Budgeting Project

In the 1990s, the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre became famous for "participatory budgeting" - a bold democratic experiment in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In the past decade, hundreds of cities and public agencies across Europe have also adopted participatory budgeting. In this panel, two of Europe's top experts on participatory budgeting will discuss the challenges and opportunities of deepening democracy in the Global North.

Giovanni Allegretti is an Italian architect and senior researcher at the Center of Social Studies (CES) at Coimbra University in Portugal. He is currently co-director of the PhD course “Democracy in the XXI century” at CES, and coordinator of the PEOPLES’ Observatory on Participation, Innovation and Local Powers and the 3-year project “Participatory Budgeting as innovative tool for reinventing local institutions in Portugal and Cape Verde?” He serves as a resource person in the Chinese-coordinated project “Legal Issues of Public Participation” and a consultant for the Swedish Associations of Municipalities and Regions on their first participatory budgeting experiment. He has been research director of three EU-funded projects on participation: “Participando” (coordinated by the Municipality of Rome), “INCLUIR – Participatory Budget as a tool for fighting social exclusion” (coordinated by the Municipality of Venice) and “PARLOCAL”, a cooperation between 36 Spanish, Uruguayan and Dominican cities (coordinated by the Province of Malaga). From 2001 to 2006, he was an assistant professor in Town Management at the University of Florence, where he received his PhD.

Ernesto Ganuza is a researcher at the Spanish Scientific Research Council (IESA/CSIC). His work relates to participation and democracy in Spain, Latin America, and Europe. He is now leading an international research project on participatory budgeting, comparing experiences on different continents. He has advised many Spanish local authorities on participatory budgeting and other participatory processes, and published widely on participation.

Posted by jlerner at 11:19 PM | Permalink | Leave a Comment | RSS

May 7: 2nd PB Vote in Chicago

May 2, 2011

Participatory Budgeting in Chicago's 49th Ward is gearing up for its second annual PB voting day - Saturday, May 7th. For more information, including the sample ballot, see

Posted by jlerner at 10:53 PM | Permalink | Leave a Comment | RSS



International Conference in New York

On March 30-31, 2012, we co-hosted the first International Conference on Participatory Budgeting in the US and Canada. Visit the conference website for details!
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