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City of Brussels lets locals decide budget spend
The City of Brussels is claiming a Belgian first by letting its residents take complete control of part of the municipal budget.
Following in the footsteps of Dublin, Lisbon, Madrid, New York, Paris, Porto Alegre and Reykjavic, a €200,000 portion has been set aside for the particpatory budget, with locals deciding how it will be spent.
Brussels Participation, a city service, has called on ideas from the public via neighbourhood meetings since mid-January.
At these open meetings, inhabitants discuss ideas in teams and develop them into concrete projects with the help of volunteer experts and associations as well as private entities and the city. Then everyone in the city will have the opportunity to vote and eight projects will be realised.
This is the first time in Belgium that a city lets the citizens take complete charge of a part of the municipal budget and the process for creating the projects as well as the voting procedure.
Any resident of the city can participate. More practical info can be found on the City of Brussels website.