Faced with low levels of citizen interest in community affairs, the Municipality of Reggio Emilio decided to experiment with participatory budgeting in District 8. Exactly 256 citizens took part in the process, which took place between September 2007 and February 2008. 17 of the 123 proposals made in meetings with citizens were included in the 2008 budget. These were related to the community's quality of life. Participants felt satisfied with the process, and there is hope that future initiatives will be even more successful.
75 per cent of residential development in Auckland over the next thirty years (to accommodate an extra one million people) will be within the metropolitan urban limits. This is the main reason the Auckland Council decided to start the “Auckland Plan” through a participation process that could find solutions to this problem and turn Auckland into the world’s most liveable city by 2040.
The Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform was a body created by the government of British Columbia, Canada. The Assembly was charged with investigating and recommending changes to improve the electoral system of the province. The body was composed of 160 citizens selected ar random from throughout the province. These members met approximately every other weekend for one year to deliberate about alternative voting arrangements.
The financial and economic crisis, of which we have heard so much discussion since 2007-8, is only one aspect of a whole series of underlying political trends which have been apparent for much longer: a crisis of (in)equality and of increased precarity of the workforce, a human rights crisis, a demographic crisis, an ecological crisis, a crisis in civil liberties, and above all a crisis in democracy.