Participatory Budgeting is back!

The City of Cambridge has launched the 9th cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB) and is seeking ideas from the community on how to spend $1 million on projects to improve Cambridge. The Idea Collection phase will be open from June 1 – July 31, 2022.

Winning projects from past PB cycles have included youth center upgrades, home essentials for newly housed residents, solar panels for the Main Library, laundry access in public schools, and many more! Projects are eligible for funding if they meet the following criteria:

  • Benefit the public
  • Are one-time expenditures that cost $1 million or less
  • Are capital projects, (something bought or built)
  • Are implemented by the City of Cambridge on City property (streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, schools, youth centers, senior centers, municipal buildings, etc.)
    • Projects on Cambridge Housing Authority, DCR, and MBTA property are not eligible
    • PB funding cannot be used to make a grant to a nonprofit organization

Community members can also submit their ideas by emailing [email protected]; by calling the City’s Budget Office at 617-349-4270; dropping ideas in the Payment Drop Box behind City Hall; or by mailing them to City of Cambridge Budget Office, 795 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA  02139.

What is PB?

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The City hopes that PB will help directly involve residents in the budgeting and City-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the City’s Capital Plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents. This PB cycle, the City will set aside $1 million of the FY24 Capital Budget for one-time capital projects to improve the community.

PB9 timeline: 

  • June 1 - July 31, 2022 - Community members brainstorm and submit IDEAS about how to spend $1 million of the City's FY24 Budget on capital projects to improve Cambridge
  • August - November 2022 - Volunteer PB delegates will work in committees to research and develop submitted ideas into project proposals for the PB Ballot. If you’d like to volunteer for the proposal development process, click here!
  • November 2022 - City staff vet proposals for FEASIBILITY and COST.  
  • December 2022 – Residents VOTE on which projects they’d like the City to fund. All Cambridge residents age 12 and older can vote, regardless of citizenship status. 
  • December 2022 - RESULTS are announced and winning projects are included in the City’s FY24 Capital Budget.
  • July 2023 onward - Winning projects are implemented.

Click here to stay informed about PB!


Check out the StoryMap of past winning PB projects

Click here to see our StoryMap that displays all of the winning projects from PB1, PB2, PB3, PB4, PB5, and PB6. *This map will be updated in 2022. 



You can learn more about winning projects from past cycles by exploring our PB Cycles tab.

Some Images provided by the Participatory Budgeting Project.