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Fostering community through participatory budgeting

Participatory budgeting is a process used in cities around the world to involve citizens in government spending decisions that impact or benefit them.
Winning projects are adopted through a community vote and implemented with the support of government.

While the mechanics and processes of participatory budgeting can vary, they generally follow an agreed upon series of steps:

  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Proposal development for community improvement projects
  • Community vote
  • Report back
  • Project implementation

Increases civic involvement

An effective, meaningful and measurable participatory budgeting process can increase civic involvement by:

  • Allowing members of the public to practice empowered decision-making for their community
  • Creating opportunities for the community to discuss local needs
  • Delivering projects that reflect the needs of the majority of residents

Participatory budgeting pilot

Help us decide where to invest funds in the West End

We’re launching a participatory budgeting process to distribute additional revenue collected through West End permit parking fees.

We made the commitment at the time that this incremental revenue would be directed back into the West End community, and that the community would decide where the funds would be invested.

Why we are piloting participatory budgeting in the West End

  • It is a part of the follow up to the West End Parking Strategy implemented in 2017, which resulted in additional parking revenue being collected
  • The West End is an ideal neighbourhood to pilot the participatory budgeting process because of its manageable geographic size and rich community networks
  • To test and evaluate the process for possible future use with other projects in other areas of the city

What's happening

Public engagement pop-ups

Wed, January 23, 4pm to 7pm
West End Community Centre

Fri, January 25, 11am to 2pm
Jim Deva Plaza

Tues, January 29, 4pm to 7pm
Robson and Bute Plaza

Community assemblies

Sat, January 26, 1:30pm to 3:30pm
Gordon Neighbourhood House 

Sat, February 2, 2pm to 4pm
West End Community Centre

Thurs, February 7, 6 to 8pm
Dr. Peter Centre 

WE Choo$e Impact Team

The next meeting of the community-led team will be Monday, January 14 from 7pm to 9pm at the Barclay Manor . Refreshments and childcare will be provided.

If you would still like to be involved in the council, contact us at public.engagement@vancouver.ca

Participatory Budgeting information session

By City of Vancouver

Melissa Appleton from the Participatory Budgeting Project welcoming the West End community to the first participatory budgeting information session at the Gordon Neighbourhood House on August 23, 2018.

  • Community-created ideas

    By City of Vancouver

    Attendees were asked to work with their neighbours to develop proposal ideas to spend public money. The ideas were then voted on as a group. The exercise was designed to help illustrate the participatory budgeting process.

  • Participatory Budgeting project team

    By City of Vancouver

    Left to right: Melissa Appleton (Participatory Budgeting Project), Stephen Irving (Public Engagement Specialist), Amanda Gibbs (Public Engagement Manager, City of Vancouver) and Francesco Tena (Participatory Budgeting Project)

  • Melissa Appleton from the Participatory Budgeting Project returned to Vancouver on September 27, 2018 to lead the West End Participatory Budgeting "Writing The Rules" workshop at the Gordon Neighbourhood House.

  • The product of the "Writing The Rules" workshop will be the West End Participatory Budgeting Rulebook, a living document that outlines the definition, goals, and rules of Participatory Budgeting in the West End.

  • As part of the "Writing The Rules" workshop, the West End Participatory Budgeting Leadership Council were allowed to give themselves a name. They're calling themselves the WE Choo$e Impact Team. Watch for WE Choo$e out in the West End community during their first round of public engagement expected to start in January 2019.

Follow our progress

  • Summer 2018

    Community outreach; establishment of stewardship committee

  • Winter 2018

    Idea collection

  • We are here
  • March –
    April 2019

    Proposal development

  • May –
    June 2019

    Vote on proposals

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