PARTICIPATORY BUDGET IN ALYTUS: BRINGING MORE DEMOCRACY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO THE CITY RESIDENTS
(FINALIST 2018) Citizen involvement: a city that allocated part of the budget to citizens' proposals and ideas.
Alytus city municipality has started a process of decision-making, in which ordinary people not only decide how to allocate part of a city budget by voting directly for projects, but can also create and promote those projects themselves. This initiative is unique to the country, and the starting point for participatory budgeting in Lithuania. Furthermore - all citizens of Alytus, from the age of 16, can participate in the process. Voting for the projects for 2018 and 2019 ended on the 6th of July this year, and our people allocated 50 thousand euros to “small-scale projects”, which will be implemented this year. Voting also ended for the "large-scale projects”, requiring technical design and with a value of up to 150 thousand euros. Altogether 200,000 euros (0,33 % of the city budget) was allocated by the Alytus citizens to use as they wished. And this is just the beginning, next year the sum will increase to 250,000, and each year the participatory proportion of the city budget will increase. The projects offered by the citizens ranged from a new market in one of the districts, to entertainment infrastructure, to city boundary signs.