Vancouver’s West End first to test participatory budgeting

Voting opened on Saturday to select community projects for funding

THOSE who live, work, and volunteer in Vancouver’s West End can vote between January 25 and February 4 on how to spend $100,000 in City funding on projects in their community.

The projects are being funded by new permit revenue generated by the City’s West End Parking strategy, implemented in 2017. The City made the commitment to re-invest this additional revenue in the community through a participatory budgeting pilot, which puts the decision about how to spend the funds to benefit the local neighbourhood into the hands of the community.

Under the leadership of the community-led We Choo$e Impact team, a total of 14 potential projects have been shortlisted from more than 1,700 idea submissions. The projects range in complexity and cost from $10,000 to $50,000 and include public health programs, community beautification projects, funding for music and sports equipment at local schools, and public art. 

The community vote will take place both online and at more than 15 pop-up voting stations throughout the neighbourhood. Voting is open to anyone aged 12 and up with a clear connection to the West End (live, work, or volunteer). The winning projects selected for implementation will be announced February 8.

This pilot is the City of Vancouver’s first ever participatory budgeting project, which was initially recommended by the Engaged City Task Force in 2013. The pilot will help City staff assess potential future opportunities to use participatory budgeting in the city.

More information on the proposed community projects, voting process and locations, and on participatory budgeting in general is available on the City’s web site.