Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a process implemented in the 1990s where residents of certain regions can influence how their governments' annual budgets are allocated. After the collapse of its authoritarian regime in the mid 1980s, Brazilians implemented reforms to bolster their economic and political futures through participatory methods. These new democratic practices drastically improved the lives and social infrastructure of its participants.
In the context of the perpetual crisis of urban transportation in Bucharest, there is a growing population of city dwellers fighting for bicycle rights and advocating for a new, bicycle friendly infrastructure in Bucharest. The bicycle fans coagulated since the mid 2000’s into different groups and NGO’s and developed into a new movement and a powerful presence in the urban landscape, adopting several strategies of public participation.
This case study was written by Sandy Heierbacher, Director of the National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD), in 2001 as part of a consultancy with the Center for Disease Control's National Immunization Program.
Since 2002, the city of Grenoble, France, has engaged citizens in public decision-making through participatory committees and town meetings. Residents have been able to express their opinions and make recommendations on city planning, education, cultural life, and other municipal issues. Over the years, this program has strengthened local democracy and empowered public participation in important civic projects.