Participatory Budgeting Pilot (Balwin and Belvedere)
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The City of Edmonton held a Participatory Budgeting Pilot in 2 neighbourhoods, Balwin and Belvedere, to distribute up to $70,000 of Neighbourhood Revitalization Funding. The pilot provided residents, business owners and operators, and non-profit organizations with the opportunity to help decide how to distribute public money to benefit Balwin and Belvedere.
The following six community projects were selected to receive funding:
Bring community members together through a year-round celebration, featuring events like a Winter Festival, Movies under the Stars, Neighbour Day BBQ, return of the Fall Festival, and a rink-opening and Christmas Celebration with skating, crafts, and treats.
Invigorate the Balwin community by fostering good neighbour relationships and build a sense of pride in the community by hosting two events: a Spring celebration with musical acts and a Summer BBQ in collaboration with KARA Family Resource Centre; and one program: a subsidized seniors fitness program at the Balwin Community League Hall. Funds will also be used to create a website.
Princeton School will plan and implement a public mural that will bring more colour and vibrancy into the community and on school grounds. The mural will represent the diversity of backgrounds reflected in the community. The funding will allow the school to consult with the broader community, plan and create the mural by the fall of 2024.
Public art murals at Balwin School that will visually and socially connect community members. Students, families, and community artists will be involved and will seek to create an inclusive environment, with diverse visual representations, including Indigenous culture and multicultural connections.
Participatory budgeting started in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989, as an anti-poverty measure that helped reduce child mortality by nearly 20%. Since then, PB has spread to over 7,000 cities around the world and has been used to decide budgets from states, counties, cities, housing authorities, schools and other institutions.
Participatory Budgeting Process
Brainstorm Project Idea
Community members share and discuss ideas through workshops and online tools.
Develop Project Proposals
Community members turn their ideas into feasible proposals, with support from City staff.
Winning proposals are picked through a community vote.
Fund and Implement
The City funds the winning ideas, and community members implement their projects.
Through a collaborative and interactive process, Ward Karhiio and Ward Nakota Isga community members were invited to help decide how to spend part of Councillor Tang and Councillor Knack’s office budgets.
Participants were encouraged to think of ideas for small, on-the-ground projects that seeded and stimulated improvements in their communities.