Citizens to decide how to improve neighbourhoods with the first participatory budget

03/02/2020 - 18:40

Participation. City residents will be debating and deciding on how and where to invest 75 million euros in a pioneering democratic exercise.

In a pioneering democratic exercise, the people of Barcelona will be able to have a direct say in how 75 million euros is to be invested in their neighbourhood or district. The participatory budget accounts for 5% of municipal investment earmarked for the period through to 2023. The process will be conducted using the decidim.barcelona platform.

The participatory budget is another step towards a model of direct democracy which involves citizens in decision-making processes, enabling them to make proposals, debate them, prioritise them and decide.

Investment resulting from proposals by local people must satisfy a number of requisites. The main areas of work are:

  • Renovation, reform, extension, improvement and technological equipping of public facilities such as community centres, schools and sports facilities.
  • Construction of small facilities.
  • Urban renewal and improvement of public space.
  • Infrastructures and urban furniture.
  • Tech applications and infrastructures.

The participatory process will take place from 3 February to 7 June. During that period, local people will be able to put forward proposals and debate, shape and vote on projects. The process consists of various stages.

Debate and gathering of project proposals: 3 February to 27 March

The initial stage of the participatory process, open to any person or entity regardless of whether they officially reside in Barcelona, will be for the presentation of investment proposals of between 50,000 euros or 30% of the budget assigned to the district up to a maximum of 2 million euros. Participation will be via the digital platform decidim.barcelona, stands in the street, themed face-to-face debates or through different collectives and other usual participation bodies.

At the same time, from 10 February to 17 April the evaluation process for projects will be conducted to ensure they meet the requisites, that they are compatible with the Municipal Action Programme, that they are feasible and that they don’t contravene municipal regulations.

Prioritisation stage: 20 to 30 April

In the second stage, people aged over 14 officially residing in the city will be able to choose which projects are a priority for the city as a whole. They will be able to choose between two and ten projects via the decidim.barcelona platform. As a result, this stage will select thirty projects for each district.

Support, definition and vote on proposals: 4 to 22 May

Once the thirty proposals for each district have been prioritised, the projects will be defined. Promotors and municipal teams will work together to decide on the technical aspects, budget, costs and calendar for each project.

Final voting stage: 26 May to 7 June

People over 14 who officially reside in the city will have access to the list of projects which may be developed in each district between now and 2023. Each person will be able to vote for projects in their district and a second district via decidim.barcelona or at any information point set up in the city.

Once the participatory process concludes there will be feedback for all proposals and follow up in each district.

75 million euros for the ten districts

The city’s ten districts will share a total of 75 million euros, based on redistributive criteria. That means 50% of the budget must be shared equally, with the other 50% to be distributed according to demographic and socio-economic criteria, taking into account the population of the district (15%), disposable family income per head (10%), net population density (10%), life expectancy (10%) and district surface area (5%).

The districts of Sants-Montjuïc, Nou Barris and Sant Martí will have access to larger budgets of 9 million euros each, while Les Corts and Sarrià – Sant Gervasi will get budgets of 5 million euros each.

Comprehensive participatory process

The process to define the participatory budgets will be conducted using the platform decidim.barcelona. There will also be 160 face-to-face participation points and stands for the Municipal Action Programme.

Face-to-face participation opportunities via permanent participation bodies include 250 debate sessions.

Full information on the participatory budgets can be found at www.decidim.barcelona.