Participatory budgeting in community based urban planning (2014–2015)
The research aims to scrutinize and develop the practices of participatory budgeting as part of democratic urban governance. Participatory budgeting is an innovative tool for urban planning. It emphasizes the role of citizens and communities in the processes of urban planning. Participatory budgeting allocates public money by decisions made in accordance with participatory process, and the aim is to increase the power of ordinary people and the quality of public decision-making by this manner. The method engages citizens as legitimate actors to discuss, prioritize and conduct decisions of the spending priorities of the public money.
In this action-oriented research project participatory budgeting is developed and piloted as an integral part of a neighborhood development process of the City of Tampere, Tesoma. The method is examined in two local cases: (1) in the development of a local recreation area Tesomajärvi (lake Tesoma) and (2) in the construction of a public, communal space in the local library to be built in Tesoma.
The research project analyses participatory budgeting as a democratic innovation for making local decisions and conducting community based planning, and generate criteria to evaluate the use of participatory budgeting. Following this the focus of the study will be in relation between innovative participatory decision-making and institutionalized representative decision-making, and principles of legitimate participatory process.