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DALL·E 2024-05-27 09.38.17 - A conceptual illustration of a smart city with diverse residents actively engaged in participatory budgeting. The image shows a central meeting area w
Economics & Humanities

Empowering Citizens: Implementing Participatory Budgets in Post-Pandemic Smart Cities

Participatory budgeting (PB) is revolutionizing urban governance by giving citizens a direct say in the allocation of public funds. Originating in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1988, this democratic process has since spread globally, enabling residents in cities from New York to Seoul, and Toronto to Barcelona, to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending projects. By fostering direct democracy, PB enhances transparency, accountability, and community engagement in local governance. In essence, participatory budgeting transforms passive residents into active stakeholders, ensuring that public resources are utilized effectively and reflect the community's most pressing needs. In the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, cities around the world are grappling with unprecedented challenges in public health, economic recovery, and social equity. Integrating participatory budgeting into smart city governance offers a powerful tool to address these complex issues. By leveraging digital platforms and fostering inclusive decision-making, PB can help cities rebuild and adapt more resiliently. This ...

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