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.
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.
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.
The Edmonton Citizen Panel 2008 was organized collaboratively by the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta, bringing together women and men of diverse ages, incomes, cultural backgrounds, and experience to learn about and discuss their city's budget priorities. The goal was to gather informed citizen opinion for City Council to consider seriously as input into the subsequent year’s budget process.