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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PB2 Separated Bike Lanes Are Here!

In December 2015, a project to separate bike lanes from traffic won $50,000 in FY17 capital funding during the second Participatory Budgeting vote in Cambridge.  The goal of the project is to minimize conflicts between bicycles and vehicles and improve safety.

Installation of separated bicycle lanes on Brattle Street (two-way lane from Eliot Street to Mason Street) and Massachusetts Avenue (one-way lane from Trowbridge Street to Quincy Street) began on July 10, 2017 - see below!


New separated bike lane on Mass. Ave. near Remington Street

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Outreach Committee Excited and Energized at Second Meeting

By Phoebe West 


The Participatory Budgeting (PB) Outreach Committee had its second meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, June 6th. Committee members shared how important PB is to the community, noting that it is about more than just the money; it is about civic engagement and giving everyone in Cambridge the opportunity to use their voice to say how their city can be improved. 

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Learn About PB and Submit Your Ideas!

What the video below to learn what Participatory Budgeting in Cambridge is all about.  When you're done, head over to our online idea map and tell us how you would spend $800,000 on capital projects to improve the community!  The City will be collecting project ideas from June 1 - July 31, 2017.

PB4 Kickoff and Winning Project Updates

Participatory Budgeting is back!

Cambridge's fourth PB process is about to begin. This time, we will collect ideas in June and July about how YOU would spend $800,000 on one-time capital projects to improve the community. Winning projects from past PB cycles include kinetic energy tiles, solar panels for the Main Library roof, bike repair stations, a freezer van for prepared food rescue, water bottle fill stations, and many others. 

Winning Project Updates

You can follow the progress of winning PB projects on our website. All 100 trees from the first cycle were planted last fall, 7 of the 8 bike repair stations have been installed, and Public Works has identified a preferred location for the Central Square public toilet and is working to mitigate underground conflicts.


PB bike repair station in front of the Central Square post office

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Read the PB3 Evaluation

Marcia Mundt, a public policy doctoral student and research assistant at UMass Boston, completed an independent evaluation of the City's third PB process in January 2017 to try to gage the impact of PB in the community thus far and to identify strengths and challenges in the current PB process.


Many thanks to Marcia for her meticulous work putting this report together and for helping us to improve future PB cycles!

Healthy Trees for a Healthy Cambridge: Project Update


In the fall of 2016, Public Works completed installation of all 100 trees from the winning Healthy Trees for a Healthy Cambridge project from the City's first PB cycle. This marks the fourth PB project to be completed from that cycle.

Please see below for a list of all 100 tree locations or check out a map of locations. Public Works plans to distribute gator bags, hoses, and tree care literature to the abutting property owners in spring 2017. The total budget for this project is $120,000.

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PB3 Vote Results

4,730 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted in the City's third Participatory Budgeting process - a 13% increase over last year! 3,769 people voted online and 961 voted on paper ballots.

This time, 7 projects won funding! The voting breakdown is shown below:


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Projects on the PB3 Ballot

What's on the PB3 ballot?

Over 60 volunteer Budget Delegates worked hard this fall to research all 548 ideas submitted by community members over the summer and develop the following 20 proposals for the ballot.  Make sure you vote for your favorite PB projects from December 3-9!



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Budget Delegates Submit PB3 Proposals to City Staff for Final Vetting


Budget Delegates meet with City staff at the second PB Speed Consulting session in October

Last week, Budget Delegates submitted 36 proposals for final vetting and cost estimates by City staff. The following list shows the proposals organized by Budget Delegate Committee.

Please note that not all of these proposals will make it to the ballot in December - some will not be deemed feasible by City staff, while others won't make the final cut by Budget Delegates since each of the five committees can only put four proposals on the ballot.  There will be a total of 20 projects on the ballot. 

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