Our Summer! Idea Collection with the PB Interns

Follow the journey of two of our Summer Interns as they describe their summer collecting ideas for Participatory Budgeting in Cambridge!

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16 PB Projects are Complete!

We are proud to announce that as of March 25, 2019, sixteen of the projects from Cambridge’s first three Participatory Budgeting cycles are complete with more to be completed in 2019!

Last summer, two PB3 projects were completed; PV panels were installed on the main library for the Solar Power Shines idea and six flashing lights were installed at the Safer Crosswalks for busy roads at Mass Ave at Davenport St, Mass Ave at Dudley St, Mass Ave at Washburn Ave, Prospect St at St. Mary Road, and Huron Ave at West Cambridge Youth Center! Head over to these locations to try out the flashing lights!

Look out for all these projects around Cambridge, from the prepared food van that is being used by the nonprofit Food for Free, to green bike lands and sharrows and even new chairs at CRLS and the Amigos School.

Many thanks to the originally idea submitters, the PB Budget Delegates, PB Voters and the Traffic, Parking and Transportation Department for making this project come to fruition.

(Flashing light signs at Huron Ave crosswalk across from the West Cambridge Youth Center)

2018 PB Vote Results

The results are in for the City of Cambridge’s fifth Participatory Budget (PB) Process. Over 6,849 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted to decide how to spend $900,000 on capital projects to improve the community – the most votes yet in a PB process in Cambridge.

The following 6 projects won $925,000 in FY20 Capital Funding:

  1. Trees, please! ($200,000)
  2. Water Fountains in Every Park ($90,000)
  3. Protect the Health and Safety of our Firefighters ($110,000)
  4. Smoother Cycling ($250,000)
  5. Clean Up Cambridge ($125,000)
  6. Rain Gardens for Resiliency ($150,000)

Please see below for a breakdown of PB votes by project.

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Central Square Toilet Open for Business

The Central Square Public Toilet, a winning project from the City's inaugural Participatory Budgeting process, officially opened for business in January 2018.  The steel "Portland Loo" toilet is located on Western Avenue near the intersection with Massachusetts Avenue.  The toilet is free, accessible, and open 24/7 to the public. 

Check it out next time you're in Central Square!



2017 PB Vote Results

The results of the 2017 Participatory Budgeting vote are in! 

6,778 Cambridge residents age 12+ voted between December 2-8, 2017.  This is a 43% increase over the previous year!   Many thanks to our Outreach Committee, Budget Delegates, and other volunteers who worked hard to spread the word.

The following 7 projects won $867,000 in FY19 capital funding:

Please see below for a breakdown of PB votes by project.

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Central Square Public Toilet Update

The Portland Loo structure for the PB Central Square public toilet was installed on Western Avenue near the intersection with Mass. Avenue on October 25, 2017!  Public Works needs to complete utility work before the toilet becomes operational, but this is a major milestone for this $320,000 PB1 project.  See pictures below and check it out next time you're in Central Square!  





Budget Delegates "Speed Consult" With Department Staff


Last night, about 25 Budget Delegates attended a "speed consulting" session with City staff in the Sullivan Chamber at City Hall. 

Representatives from the following departments/programs met with Delegates and offered insight into City planning processes to help Delegates with their research: Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Community Development, Conservation Commission, Electrical, Human Services, Library, Open Data, Public Works, Recreation, and Traffic, Parking & Transportation.

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PB Projects Are Popping Up Around Town


The new water bottle fill station at Hoyt Field (PB2 winning project)

As our current Budget Delegates are researching the 608 ideas that were submitted during the fourth PB cycle, winning projects from past PB cycles are popping up around Cambridge.

Last month, Public Works completed installation of the five water bottle fill stations from PB2 in Donnelly Field, Greene Rose Heritage Park, Hoyt Field, Russell Field, and St. Peters Field in Danehy Park.  Final locations for the four additional bottle fill stations that won in PB3 have not yet been confirmed.

Community Development recently installed the final bike repair station from PB1. You can find the eight PB bike repair stations at Alewife Linear Park (Russell Field), Central Square (near the post office), Danehy Park, Inman Square, Harvard Square (Gen. MacArthur Square), North Point (Education Circle), Porter Square shopping center, and Riverside City Park. Click here to see these locations on a map.

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PB4 Budget Delegates Delve Into Ideas


On Tuesday, August 8, the 2017 cadre of volunteer Budget Delegates convened at the Citywide Senior Center for Budget Delegate Orientation. 

As always, we have an awesome group of volunteers! Their job over the next few months is to research all 608 ideas submitted by community members in June and July and distill and develop them into the final 20 proposals for the PB ballot in December.


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New PB Record: 608 Ideas Submitted!

Many thanks to everyone who submitted an idea for the 2017 Participatory Budgeting cycle!  We received a record 608 ideas during June and July, beating last year's total of 548.

Some of the most creative ideas included a multigenerational accessible tree house and an air-cleaning “jade chain” of moss walls with built-in benches.  You can explore all of the submitted ideas through the map below:


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