Laval’s Participatory budget is on.
Residents of all ages are invited to submit their ideas for initiatives that can improve the quality of life in their neighborhood. The pilot project announced last summer allows residents to decide how part of the city’s budget is spent in order to implement new projects that take advantage of the collective wisdom of the community, funded by a $600,000 budget surplus. “With this citizen participation tool, Laval residents are directly involved in the decision-making of projects that will be carried out near their homes” says Laval Mayor Stéphane Boyer.
Projects must aim to support social recovery on a human scale and meet certain criteria: among other things, be under municipal jurisdiction, be located in the public domain or on city property, be valued at $10,000 to $150,000 and be consistent with plans, policies and programs of the municipality. Projects should not be in the process of being planned or implemented and should be capable of being initiated within two years.
The administration will analyze received ideas while evaluating technical, regulatory and financial feasibility, and various project development workshops will allow the population to improve the projects this winter, with a list of selected projects submitted to residents for a vote next April in April 2022. Finally, the city will start planning or carrying out the projects prioritized by the population within two years of the announcement of the winning projects. “They have the opportunity to influence what will emerge in the territory and to reclaim public space, said Boyer. “I believe this will make people feel more concerned with the decisions we make for them and, now, with them.”
Participatory budgets are growing in popularity worldwide, as citizens clamour for more say in community projects and how tax dollars are spent. Last summer, Montreal launched its first such budget, with a $10 million envelope funding final projects voted on by more than 20,000 people, from 620 initial submissions. These 7 projects included mini-forests in local parks or on municipal land; water fountains and devices to fill reusable water bottles in busy areas; universally accessible municipal equipment for small events in public areas, a 4-season greenhouse and more.
Submit ideas with a short online form between November 18, 2021 and January 30, 2022 at https://lavalmarketing.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8GExLnuIAiroOQ6
Register and participate in virtual ideation workshops on January 18, 24 and 26 at https://www.repensonslaval.ca/budget-participatif/survey_tools/inscription-ideation.
Laval residents who wish to submit an idea must do so before January 30. For all the details on the participatory budget, visit www.repensons.laval.ca/budget-participatif