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Boston Youth Participatory Budgeting

  • United States
  • The process is a collaboration between the Mayor's Youth Council, Boston Centers for Youth and Families, and the non-profit organization The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP).
The City of Boston is making $1 million available through Youth Lead the Change. Engage in a democratic process in the community to pitch capital improvements like investments in community centers, schools, parks, libraries, and other public spaces. This process is aimed at the youth of the city, between 12 and 25 years old, and is organized online.


With a low youth participation in politics, the Boston City Council promotes youth engagement through new mechanisms and new experiences. 


Young citizen aged from 12 to 25 years


In November, former Mayor Thomas Menino announced the participatory budgeting (PB) process that will let Boston youth directly decide how to spend $1 Million from the capital budget. The first phase was to design the process with the support of civil society, Young residents, community-based organizations and youth advocates will come together in a Steering Committee to begin to discuss the design and execution of the process.

In January with the new mayor, Marty Walsh in office, the PB was officially launched, and the steering Committee decides on the rules and plans the process.

Once the process is started, the stage began when young people made ??proposals to improve the city. They had to be ideas about what to build, repair or renovate in the community.  The ideas could be proposed in public meetings or through the website until April 7.

Then, the change agents (aged 12 to 25 who receive training and will meet in committees) must transform ideas into concrete projects proposals, with detailed budget and technical reports.

Finally, these projects will be put to the vote among young people and all residents of Boston, to be approved. Debriefings and monitoring compliance with approved construction or investment will be also made.