Fancy a pet-friendly water fountain? Maybe some edible plants?
Municipal budgets don’t always respond to the preferences of the communities it serves, with administrations often seeking to impose its vision and overlooking residents’ ideas. Participatory budgets are a tiny, incremental move towards giving citizens a greater say in spending.
Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce’s first participatory budget is a chance for borough residents to share their ideas and work together to come up with projects that will be submitted to a popular vote in the fall of 2023. The borough will then implement the projects that receive the most votes from residents.
A total of $500,000 from the borough surplus will be allocated to the budget, with funds for selected projects to be distributed proportionally based on population, with $300,000 for Côte-des-Neiges and $200,000 for Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. Winning projects will be chosen by borough residents. The number of winning projects will depend on sums allocated to each.
Selection for the first edition is guided by the theme "Quality of life of families.” Because family can take several forms, it has been defined as “a solidarity-based membership group with kinship or filiation ties, or ties based on proximity, friendship and community.”
The participatory budget is a concrete way of mobilizing CDN-NDG residents to shape a living environment in their image, says Borough Mayor Gracia Kasoki Katahwa. “For us, the community's contribution is essential to the creation of inclusive neighbourhoods that meet the needs of all residents."
In addition to an online participation component, six in-person workshops will allow residents to pair their ideas with those of others, perhaps even transforming them into neighbourhood projects. The objective is to listen to residents' ideas and give them an opportunity to exert a real impact on the completion of concrete projects.
Initial collection of ideas runs until May 7. In-person workshops take place April 1 and 2, May 6 and 7 (locations to be announced). For more information visit realisonsmtl.ca/bpcdnndg2023.
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