For the seventh year of this experiment conducted since 2014, Parisians are being consulted to choose some of the projects that will make the city of tomorrow. Proposals can be submitted until the end of February for the first phase of this initiative.
Participation in the Budget Participatif 2021 (Participatory Budget) is open to all residents of the capital, regardless of age or nationality. Proposals may fall into two categories: those concerning “All of Paris”, and projects in each arrondissement. With close to sixty winning projects expected this year, compared to nearly 200 two years ago, the municipality hopes to insist on “quality rather than quantity”.
Building new facilities, improving existing infrastructures, expanding or renovating buildings… this initiative represents an opportunity for residents to make direct proposals in order to improve the daily life of their neighborhood. The projects submitted by Parisians, whether individually or collectively, will have to meet several criteria. They must benefit the public interest and “fall within the jurisdiction of the city of Paris”, but also “represent an investment (construction and development of buildings, infrastructures, etc.) and not an operating expense (staff, services, etc.)”.
According to the team responsible for this initiative at city hall, “a first noteworthy change is the ambition to place the Budget Participatif within a more global framework, and to link its implementation with the initiative ‘Embellir votre quartier‘ (Embellish Your Neighborhood). Some of the projects submitted will be redirected towards this approach to improve coordination of construction work in public spaces”.
After some legitimate criticism regarding the multiplication of the selected projects and the growing difficulties in monitoring them, the 2021 Budget Participatif will present other major differences from previous years. First of all, the proposals will no longer concern public roads – widening sidewalks, creating bicycle paths, or making roads pedestrian will therefore be excluded. Instead of a general envelope, the budget will now include a limited number of winning projects for each arrondissement, “determined according to demographic criteria with a ‘priority neighborhood’ bonus”.
Due to a 70% reduction in the total number of projects that can be validated by Parisians, each of the arrondissements will now have between two and five laureates. Thus, across Eastern Paris:
– Four projects will be selected in the 10th arrondissement (compared to 8 out of 18 proposals in 2019).
– Four projects will be selected in the 11th arrondissement (compared to 16 out of 20 proposals in 2019).
– Four projects will be selected in the 12th arrondissement (compared to 7 out of 23 proposals in 2019).
– Five projects will be selected in the 19th arrondissement (compared to 13 out of 28 proposals in 2019), including two located in priority neighborhoods.
– Five projects will be selected in the 20th arrondissement (compared to 14 out of 22 proposals in 2019), including two located in priority neighborhoods.
The Maisons de la vie associative et citoyenne, as well as several associations, will be responsible for providing assistance to project sponsors who may need it.
As a logical consequence of this more limited choice, the projects will be able to benefit from a larger budget – up to 2 million euros for each of the 57 local winning projects! As in previous years, project sponsors with “similar or complementary projects will be given the opportunity to meet and build one together”. In addition, “acceptability workshops” may be organized in order to “strengthen support for projects by encouraging discussion with local residents”.
The method of voting will also be subject to some adjustments. According to the municipality, the new consultation “will be based on the majority judgment, thus allowing Parisians to provide a more qualitative opinion on the preselected projects, for example by giving them a grade or an appreciation”. The procedure should also prove more transparent than in previous editions.
Parisians will be able to vote electronically on the Budget Participatif website or physically, with around 200 ballot boxes spread across the capital. After a technical appraisal “to guarantee the admissibility” of the projects between March and July, followed by a confirmation by a selection committee, voting will begin in the fall of 2021 for three weeks. The last time the initiative was organized, in 2019, around 231,000 people took part in the vote.
Call for projects – Until February 28th at 8pm
Illustration: Collective garden on Rue Louis Blanc, Paris 10°. Renovation selected following the Budget participatif 2018.
© Ville de Paris