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BREST: a participatory budget to involve citizens, better meet their needs and improve quality of life

Benchmark Governance and Partnerships Urbanism and Placemaking
Brest Budget Participatif


Back in 1989, the city of Porto Alegre in Brazil was the first to involve its citizens in budgetary decisions, with a view to sharing wealth. Still marginal in the 2010s, the number of French communes that have set up a participatory budget has risen from 7 to 170 in six years. One of the main reasons for this boom is the growing need for legitimacy in public action: the aim is often to strengthen dialogue and trust between local authorities and citizens by involving them in political decision-making. This makes it possible to finance projects proposed and approved by local residents, by calling on their expertise. Finally, from a technical point of view, the development of digital platforms has also facilitated consultations.

The commune of Brest, with a population of 150,000, embarked on the implementation of a participatory budget in 2018. The success of the first edition encouraged its renewal in 2019 and then in 2021.

Keywords: public action, attractiveness, participatory budget, creativity, participatory democracy, social innovation, investment, quality of life, Brest, Finistère.
Illustration : Brest Métropole

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