International Observatory on Participatory Democracy

CAT | EN | ES | FR | PT
IOPD logo


Better Neighborhoods

  • Iceland
  • Citizens Foundation
Citizens submit ideas for projects they think will improve their neighborhoods.


Better Neighborhoods process:

1. Citizens submit their ideas.

For example: more trees, trashcans, repairs pavements, food gardens, add speed bumps or pedestrian lights.

2. Every month, ideas and points are processed by the city administration. City of Reykjavik Construction Board evaluates costs and feasibility of each project.

Citizens are informed on website and in email with reasons for decisions. Real transparency is needed for this step.

3. Citizens vote on ideas.

There are 4 steps to vote:

·         Authentication

Using IceKey (Icelandic National Registry) or Electronic IDs embedded in debit cards.  The vote is electronic, binding and secure and is open to all people aged over 16.

·         Choose a neighborhood to vote in

Citizens can only vote in one neighborhood.

·         Choose projects to vote for

People can choose one project and vote for that or they can fill your budget quota.

·         Vote

Just press the vote button, people can vote again but only the last vote counts.

Voting fraud is impossible: Reykjavik city Internal Audit monitors the process; in addition, external experts do a security audit every year, before, during and after the voting.

Voting fraud is only possible if there is a conspiracy of at least two entities.

4. City of Reykjavik executes them.

Some ideas are realized in a few weeks, others take over a year.

5. Citizens use the results.

Improvements from Better Neighborhoods easily found in all areas of the city.

In terms of accessibility: libraries and community centers assist those without Internet access, old or otherwise disabled.

Currently, over 200 ideas already executed. However, many people don’t know the project, or they consider that projects offered not interesting enough.