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Participatory Budgeting

Allowing for direct community involvement in City spending decisions through participation in the budget process.

About

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process where residents generate ideas and vote on how to spend public funds. It gives residents real power over real money.

$1 million for participatory budgeting

Participatory Budgeting in the City of Philadelphia is led by the Budget Office in partnership with the City Planning Commission. During the PB process, Philadelphians generate ideas for infrastructure investments and vote directly on how to spend $1 million dollars on capital projects.

Participatory Budgeting involves a cycle of engagement that is combined with the regular budgeting process. It sparks a variety of powerful, lasting impacts across a community:

  • More equitable and effective spending.
  • Broader political participation, especially from historically marginalized communities.
  • Stronger relationships among residents, government, and community organizations.
  • New community leaders.
  • Increased civic engagement.

Connect

Address
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Room 1400
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Email budget@phila.gov

The Participatory Budgeting process

1
Design the process

The Re-Imagine Philadelphia Steering Committee, whose members represent the community, creates the rules and engagement plan. 

2
Brainstorm ideas

Community members share and discuss ideas for capital projects through meetings and online tools 

Capital projects are investments in the City’s physical and technology infrastructure, community facilities, and public buildings. Examples include a recreation center roof repair or water fountain installation. Capital funds are used to buy, build, or improve these City assets.

Capital projects must have a useful life of over five years and cost $15,000 or more.

3
Develop proposals

Volunteer budget delegates develop community ideas into feasible projects.  

4
Vote

Community members vote on the proposals that best serve the community’s needs.

5
Fund winning projects

The City funds and implements the winning ideas.


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