Participatory Budgeting is Back!

The City of Cambridge has launched the 8th Cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB8) and collected 1,070 ideas from the Cambridge community between June and July about how to spend $1 million on one-time capital projects to improve Cambridge. From August 2021 through November 2021, volunteer Budget Delegates will research all submitted project ideas and develop the final proposals for the December 2021 PB8 vote, in which all Cambridge residents age 12 and older will be able to participate.

Projects are eligible for funding if they:

  • Benefit the public
  • Are capital projects (something bought or built)
  • Are one-time expenditures that cost $1,000,000 or less
  • Are implemented by the City of Cambridge on City property (streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, schools, youth centers, senior centers, municipal buildings, etc.)

Examples of Past winning projects include:

  • Musical instruments for CRLS
  • Universal swing sets in parks
  • Laundry access in public schools
  • Pedestrian-controlled crosswalk lights
  • Bilingual books for kids
  • Extending outdoor public Wi-Fi

Learn more about the PB8 Cycle here.

Click here to sign up and stay informed about the PB8 Cycle.


What is PB all about?

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.

The eighth Participatory Budgeting (PB8) cycle in Cambridge will run from June 1 - July 31 2021. This time, the City will set aside $1,000,000 of the FY23 Budget for one-time capital projects to improve the community. Winning projects from past PB cycles include laundry access in schools, solar panels for the Main Library roof, bike repair stations, a freezer van for prepared food rescue, street trees, water bottle fill stations, bilingual books for children learning English, and many others.

After community members brainstorm project ideas in June and July, volunteer Budget Delegates will research and develop those ideas into formal project proposals from August through November. Proposals that are vetted by City staff and approved by the City Manager will appear on a December PB8 ballot in which all Cambridge residents age 12 and older will be able to participate. Winning projects will be included in the FY23 Capital Budget for adoption.

PB Cambridge Logo

Looking Back at PB7 

Read more about last years' vote and the projects on the PB7 ballot here.

Special thanks to the volunteers, Budget Delegates, facilitators, City of Cambridge staff, and all the residents and participants who helped make the 7th PB Cycle a success!

Check back and stay up to date about the upcoming 8th PB Cycle!


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



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

Some Images provided by the Participatory Budgeting Project.