A participatory budgeting pilot took place in Vancouver's West End in 2017, where community residents decided on the allocation of funds from permit parking fees.
Problems and Purpose
A 2017 participatory budgeting pilot organized by the City of Vancouver to give residents of the West End neighbourhood control over the allocation of additional revenue collected through permit parking fees.
Background History and Context
The use of participatory budgeting in Vancouver was first recommended by the 'Engaged City Taskforce' in 2013. After two years of research by municipal officials, it was decided that the 2017 West End Parking Strategy offered a viable opportunity to experiment with a participatory form of budget allocation. As part of the Parking Strategy, the City of Vancouver committed to an incremental reinvestment of parking permit revenues into the surrounding community through a participatory process.
Organizing, Supporting, and Funding Entities
The West End Participatory Budgeting pilot was organized by the City of Vancouver and supported by the Participatory Budgeting Project. A maximum of $175,000 from the "market-based West End residential parking permit sales" was made available for distribution via participatory budgeting.
Participant Recruitment and Selection
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Methods and Tools Used
This initiative is an example of participatory budgeting, a method of democratic innovation broadly described as "a decision-making process through which citizens deliberate and negotiate over the distribution of public resources." There are many benefits associated with participatory budgeting including increased civic and democratic education; increased government transparency; and an increased opportunity for participation by historically marginalized populations.
What Went On: Process, Interaction, and Participation
An open community information session was to be held by Participatory Budgeting Project staff on August 23, 2018.
Influence, Outcomes, and Effects
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Analysis and Lessons Learned
According to a 2017 report by the City of Vancouver, municipal staff are to "report in Q4 of 2018 on the results of the Participatory Budgeting Pilot including an evaluation of the 2018 Participatory Budgeting Pilot process and options for Participatory Budgeting Processes in the 2019 and future years’ annual budget cycle."
 "West End Participatory Budgeting Pilot - Community Info Session," Urbanarium, Aug 15, 2018, https://urbanarium.org/event/west-end-participatory-budgeting-pilot-community-info-session [BROKEN LINK]
 Manager of Public Engagement, " West End Pilot Participatory Budgeting Process ," City of Vancouver Administrative Report, December 1, 2017, https://council.vancouver.ca/20171212/documents/a5.pdf