Tartu's Participative Budgeting Generates Ideas From the Public

laine uudised-laine
2. Oct 2014

In its attempt to make governance more inclusive and improve people's understanding of the city budget and the process of shaping it, the Tartu City Council has, for the second year running, asked its citizens for advice on investment objects. It has now revealed what it considers the top 25 ideas generated by the public.

The proposals include a ramp next to the stairs on Marja Street that would make life easier for cyclists and mothers with buggies and a football week in Tartu, which would bring a national team match to Tamme Stadium, reports ERR's "Aktuaalne Kaamera".

Landscape architect Terje Ong, for example, offered a plan to turn the district of Annelinn into a small, live city gallery. She says: "The nine and five-story buildings will be covered with murals. Or their side walls will, to be more precise. This will create a united cityscape and perhaps a shared identity."

Despite the fact that not all funds of the inclusive budget for 2013 have been claimed yet, the council is optimistic and has made minor changes to the system.

"During the pilot project we had very little time for extensive inclusion – we just introduced the ideas and organized a vote straight away. This year, however, we have also held quite a few debates, which worked as a primary screening mechanism," said Tartu City Council's head of communication Lilian Lukka.

Of the 25 ideas, each citizen can choose two favorites, which will then receive funding. The idea of participative budgeting has also been picked up by Kuressaare, Viljandi and Elva.

The complete sum for participative budgeting is 140,000 euros.