Participatory Budgeting in a Human Smart City
This experience was presented at the 10th IOPD Award (2016)
Participatory democracy can not be reduced to a mere political and social system, but a way of "being", "acting" and "thinking" that covers the whole of a person. As a political and social system requires the development of forms of participation of life, resulting in the creation of local areas, canals and formal structures to facilitate direct citizen (s) participation (s).
In this sense, the Municipality of Agueda aims to strengthen the participation of citizens, promoting an active and creative in the way of sustainable development of the province strong civil society, and the promotion of quality of life. Therefore, it is understood that the participation of all people is fundamental, on the assumption that everyone has potential and can contribute in some way to the development of their land; life that allows the establishment of stronger links between citizens; and that this participation translates into learning, to the extent that this way we realize the reality of the municipality and its connection to the region, country and Europe.
The result of the work of administrative modernization and management model implemented, Agueda is conceived as a "Human Smart City", where the local authority offers its citizens a variety of tools and platforms in order to be the choice for work, live and enjoy, offering a better quality of life, sustainability and commitment to the future.
For this purpose the contribution and participation of all is essential. Only then can we make progress together significant for the municipality to survive increasingly recognized as an innovative, entrepreneurial, sustainable and aversion to bureaucracy.
Technological advances allow us to access a range of information and services from the comfort of your home, or anywhere else in the world, the relevance of information in the municipality. A municipality, as well, can only be built with the participation, opinions and suggestions of all citizens, institutions and companies.
In this sense, the process of participatory budget is being taken positively in all areas of municipal activities, involving political and technical, in the execution of projects that can be identified by citizens and recourse to a Management System (QMS) was implemented.
In order to provide an opportunity for people to have a voice in decision-making on a part of the investment costs of municipal government, the Municipal Executive approved
the creation of the Agueda Participatory Budget, thus beginning a new cycle in the management and promotion of the territory, promoting a strong civil society, active, committed and creative in the way of sustainable development with quality of life and collective participation assigning the decision of municipal investments.
Participatory budgeting is a tool of participatory democracy, promoting dialogue and debate among all developer - all over 16 years living, studying or working in Agueda can participate - hence can claim their space in the continuous improvement of your street, village, town, or community.
For 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 editions, the Municipal Government has allocated a budget of € 500,000 budget, and invited all citizens to submit, discuss and vote proposals / projects to be implemented within the parish or municipality, insofar € 50,000.
There was 435 participants (68.3% male / 32% female) in the sessions, divided into 11 parishes (villages) in the municipality.
As voter turnout was 2707 (1436W / 1393M), thereby obtaining 3057 votes (998 in person, 2081 online and 372 used the two forms of vote), corresponding to 6.6% of voters in the universe of potential voters (residents aged of 16 years or more, 40 624 inhabitants).
These figures exceed expectations of city government and Participatory Budget Team, taking into account the habits of citizen participation.
The entire process can be controlled remotely through participatory platform or Web services, checking the status of processes, deadlines and responsible. On the other hand, with the system it implemented both citizens and officials can assess the activity of the municipality.
For more information: http://orcamentoparticipativo.cm-agueda.pt