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Participatory Budgeting in Poland ? Missing Link in Urban Regeneration Process

Dorota Kamrowska-Zaluskaa, a GdaĔsk University of Technology, ul. Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 GdaĔsk, Poland 

In last thirty years Poland has gone a long way toward democracy and decentralization. Role of public participation in planning is increasing rapidly and recently many new instruments of empowering the community is being introduced, participatory budgeting is one of the most important. On the other hand, urban regeneration is one of the most important challenges of polish cities are facing. Technical and transport infrastructure investments are, in most cases, financed by public sphere. We can also observe increasing role of NGO's in neighbourhood regeneration process but their scope of actions is mostly limited to soft projects. The paper tries to answer the question whether participatory budget can fill this gap and be a source of financing local community needs. This paper shows the creation and evolution of participatory budgets in Poland as well as the process of their implementation including examples of projects financed from participatory budget in Polish cities. It consists of analyses of participatory budgets’ expenditures structure and influence of the projects on the neighbourhood and the city. It also assesses long term influence and identify barriers, challenges and opportunities of using this instrument in urban regeneration process.

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