Cities under Participatory Construction: Scale, Dynamics, and Constraints of Participatory Budgeting
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionKurdyś-Kujawska, A., Kwiatkowski, G. & Oklevik, O. (2019). Cities under participatory construction: Scale, dynamics, and constraints of participatory budgeting. International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 14(5), 251-267.
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a means for city residents to have direct input into how and where public funds should be spent to address community needs. This paper examines the practice of PB within the context of post-socialist cities. Specifically, it focuses on scale, dynamics, and constraints of PB in all Polish cities with province capital status. First, literature on PB was synthesized. Second, documentary research was mobilized to provide source material infused with empirically grounded insights to aid the understanding of the practice of PB within the chosen context. The findings show great diversity in the financial scale, organization, and outcomes of PB in Poland. Furthermore, the study reveals three constraints that may hamper further development of PB: (1) lack of a legal basis of PB in the Polish legal system; (2) inadequate transparency of the project pre-selection procedure, including a lack of defined objective evaluation criteria; and (3) too much influence of local authorities on the selection of projects to be implemented. Against this background, clear-cut actions are outlined to improve the functioning of PB in Poland.