PB Cycle 5

Status of Winning PB5 Projects

The $925,000 in FY20 capital funds for the six winning projects from the fifth PB cycle became available on July 1, 2019. The graphic below displays the status of each project. The Budget Office will continue to update this information as more work is completed.

Project Installation Updates:

  • Smoother Cycling: Paving installation occurred in the following locations: Sparks (Huron to Craigie), Trowbridge (Mass Ave to Harvard), Hancock (Mass Ave to Harvard), Aberdeen Ave (Huron to Mt Auburn), Cambridge St (Quincy to Fayette), Cardinal Medeiros (Binney to Hampshire), Hampshire Street (Cardinal to Broadway), Brookline Street (Waverly to Lopez), Brattle (FPP to Larch Street), Webster Ave (Cambridge to Somerville line), Ellery St (Broadway to Mass Ave), Quincy St (Cambridge to Kirkland), Mass Ave (Putnam to Inman)
  • Rain Gardens for Resiliency: $75,000 of the budget has been encumbered for open space work at CRLS.

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 fifth Participatory Budgeting (PB) cycle in Cambridge ran from May-December 2018. The City of Cambridge set aside $900,000 of the FY20 Budget for one-time capital projects to improve the community.

Here is how it works: community members submit project ideas in June and July, volunteer Budget Delegates will research and develop those ideas into formal project proposals from August through November, proposals are vetted by City staff and those approved by the City Manager appear on a PB ballot in December for a public vote. Winning projects are included in the FY20 Capital Budget for adoption. 

PB Cycle 5 Timeline

  • Planning, recruitment of OUTREACH COMMITTEE (May 2018)
  • Community members brainstorm and submit IDEAS (June 1-July 31, 2018)
  • Volunteer Budget Delegates turn ideas into concrete project PROPOSALS (August-November 2018)
  • City staff vet proposals for FEASIBILITY and COST (November 2018)
  • Residents VOTE on which projects they’d like the City to fund (December 1-7, 2018)
  • RESULTS are announced and winning projects are included in the City’s FY20 Capital Budget (December 2018)
  • Projects are IMPLEMENTED (July 1, 2019 onward)

Idea Collection

To read all of the ideas that were submitted in the fifth cycle, please visit the City of Cambridge's Open Data Portal here.


Proposal Development

From August-November, 50+ Budget Delegates worked in five committees to research, assess, and prioritize all of the submitted ideas and ultimately develop the following 20 final proposals for the December 2018 PB ballot. Read the 2018 Budget Delegate Guide to find out more about the proposal development process.

  1. Technology for the Community Learning Center ($20,000)
  2. Upgrades at the Central Square Library ($100,000)
  3. Water Fountains in Every Park ($90,000)
  4. Artwork Celebrating Same-Sex Marriage Rights ($75,000)
  5. Connecting Face 2 Face: Video Conferencing for All ($50,000)
  6. Protect the Health and Safety of our Firefighters ($110,000)
  7. Let’s Rest: Picnic Tables & Benches for Our Parks ($120,000)
  8. Let Us Remember: Cambridge Memorial Peace Garden ($400,000)
  9. Fit, Fun, and Free: Outdoor Gyms for All ($125,000)
  10. Swinging in the City ($120,000)
  11. Smoother Cycling ($250,000)
  12. Light it Up ($130,000)
  13. What’s Your Speed? ($75,000)
  14. Charging into the Future ($100,000)
  15. Give me Shelter! ($100,000)
  16. Rain Gardens for Resiliency ($150,000)
  17. Trees, please! ($200,000)
  18. Clean Up Cambridge ($100,000)
  19. Thirst-mobile: Water truck with free, cold water ($75,000)
  20. Soak Up the Solar Power ($250,000)

PB5 Vote

The fifth PB Vote was held from December 1-7, 2018. Over 6,849 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted to decide how to spend $925,000 on capital projects to improve the community.

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)

For more information on PB Cycle 5 results click here.