Uniontown, a community of about 3,000, is located in the heart of Alabama’s Black Belt, named for a deposit of dark, fertile soil extending from Mississippi’s border through the heart of Alabama. This region faces declining population, persistent poverty, inadequate health care, substandard schools, and weak business development.
As the first ward-based participatory budgeting experiment in the United States, the Participatory Budgeting Initiative in Chicago's 49th Ward began in November of 2009 with the goal of directly allocating a portion of the Alderman’s capital budget for the 49th Ward by residents. Citizens gathered to discuss, deliberate, and vote into implementation projects totaling $1.3 million dollars. Forming six themed committees of 16-20 residents each, the participants created 36 proposals to better the Ward’s infrastructure.
Pittsburgh’s Citizen Participation Plan (CPP) for the 2010-2014 Five Year Consolidated Plan used a combination of civic and community engagement methods to include citizens and civic society in the planning process.