Participatory Budgeting Voting Starts Dec. 1

participatory budgeting

The city has released its list of 20 finalists for Participatory Budgeting, the annual process where residents vote directly on how to spend city funds.

Participatory Budget projects are one-time capital projects that community members select to improve the city. Examples of past projects include bilingual books to help children learn English, solar panels for the library, and a public bathroom in Central Square.

This year residents will choose where to direct $900,000. The 20 finalists were culled from over 1,000 ideas submitted by the community, up from about 600 in 2017.

Every Cambridge resident—including university students and non-citizens—who is at least 12 years old has the chance to vote on how to allocate the funds. From Dec. 1 to 7, people can vote for up to five projects online or at various city events.

The 20 finalists for this year’s Participatory Budgeting range in price and location. Repaving several bicycle lanes throughout the city would cost $250,000, while a water truck that would pop up at events would clock in at $75,000.

Other ideas include planting 100 trees ($200,000) and adding solar panels to the Russell Youth Center ($250,000). A full list of the 20 finalists is available online.