PB Cycle 7

The City of Cambridge launched the 7th Cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB7) in 2020. In September, community members submitted ideas for how to spend $500,000 on one-time capital projects to improve Cambridge. In October and November, volunteer PB Delegates researched all submitted project ideas and developed the final proposals for the PB7 vote. Between January 4-9, 2021, 7,250 Cambridge residents age 12 and older, voted to decide how to allocate capital funding to address community needs.

Status of Winning PB7 Projects

The $525,000 in FY22 capital funds for the PB7 winning projects became available on July 1, 2021. The Budget Office will continue to update this information as City departments work to complete each project.

Project Installation Details:

  • 50 trees were planted in the fall 2021 at three micro-forest locations as part of PB7. Educational signage will be installed shortly. 
    • Market St. and Broadway triangle
    • Lincoln and Windsor St. inside the dog park
    • Inside Bergin Park at Pemberton St. and Haskell St.
  • Bridging the Digital Divide, Library Status: The Cambridge Public Library has acquired 25 new mobile hotspots and they are available for use at the Tech Bar.

  • Bridging the Digital Divide, CLC Status: The Cambridge Community Learning Center has acquired 100 new Chromebooks and 50 mobile hotspots for students to use. So far, the CLC has been loaning Chromebooks to students who need them to attend online classes, and the hotspots to students who do not have internet access.

The following 7 projects won $525,000 in FY22 Capital Funding:

  1. Urban Micro-Forests for Cambridge ($85,000) 
  2. Rain Gardens for Resiliency ($120,000) 
  3. Bridging the Digital Divide ($95,000) 
  4. Bike Signals at Busy Intersections ($40,000) 
  5. Keep Cambridge Cleaner ($45,000) 
  6. Swinging into Inclusivity ($40,000 ) 
  7. Pedestrian-Controlled Crosswalk Lights ($100,000) 

Thank you to the 7,250 residents that voted! The full vote totals are:

Project Cost Votes Cumulative Cost
Urban Micro-Forests for Cambridge $85,000   4,826  $85,000 
Rain Gardens for Resilience $120,000   3,640  $205,000 
Bridging the Digital Divide $95,000   3,342  $300,000 
Bike Signals at Busy Intersections $40,000   2,984  $340,000 
Keep Cambridge Cleaner $45,000   2,661  $385,000 
Swinging into Inclusivity $40,000   2,282  $425,000 
Pedestrian-Controlled Crosswalk Lights $100,000   2,269  $525,000 
Open Our Doors - Automatic Door Openers on Public Buildings $50,000   1,950   
We Need More Crosswalks $40,000   1,942   
Safer Streets Around Parks and Schools $90,000   1,890   
New Park Pavilion $175,000   1,710   
Waste Management Education Campaign $85,000   1,546   
Add Color to our Youth Centers $25,000   1,252   
Listen Up! Public Meeting Space Hearing Technology $150,000   1,072   
Who Let the Dogs Out? $20,000   939   
Fast Response High Visibility Fire Hydrant Markers $8,000   901   

Special thanks to the City Manager for fully funding the seventh winning project.

Final PB Cycle 7 Ballot

The final 16 projects on the Cycle 7 Ballot are:

  1. Fast Response High Visibility Fire Hydrant Markers
  2. Bike Signals at Busy Intersections
  3. Rain Gardens for Resiliency
  4. New Park Pavilion
  5. Pedestrian-Controlled Crosswalk Lights
  6. Add Color to our Youth Centers
  7. Who Let the Dogs Out?
  8. Open Our Doors
  9. Swinging into Inclusivity
  10. Bridging the Digital Divide
  11. Public Meeting Space Hearing Technology
  12. Safer Streets Around Parks and Schools
  13. Urban Micro-Forests for Cambridge
  14. We Need More Crosswalks
  15. Waste Management Education Campaign
  16. Keeping Cambridge Cleaner

(Projects listed in random order.)

Proposal Development

From September-December, 80+ Budget Delegates worked in five committees to research, assess, and prioritize all of the submitted ideas and ultimately develop the 16 final proposals for the January 2021 PB ballot. Read the 2020 Budget Delegate Guide to find out more about the proposal development process.

PB Cycle 7 Timeline

  • Planning/adapting PB for COVID-19 (summer 2020)
  • Community members brainstorm and submit IDEAS (September 2020)
  • Volunteer Budget Delegates turn ideas into concrete project PROPOSALS (October - November 2020)
  • City staff vet proposals for FEASIBILITY and COST (November 2020)
  • Residents VOTE on which projects they’d like the City to fund (January 2021)
  • RESULTS are announced and winning projects are included in the City’s FY21 Capital Budget (January 13, 2021)
  • Projects are IMPLEMENTED (July 1, 2021 onward)

Idea Collection

To read about all of the ideas that were submitted in the seventh cycle, please click the map below:

Showing 3 reactions

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  • Robert Winters
    commented 2021-01-06 14:12:14 -0500
    I don’t wish to be a Debbie Downer, but this is a very poor selection from which to choose this year.
  • Marion B Case
    commented 2020-12-28 13:10:04 -0500
    Thanks for all the work that goes into this process.
    Numbers 2, 5, 12 & 14 can be combined (Intersection/Crosswalk safety)
    As can Numbers 15&16 (Waste management/More and cleaner trash solutions).
    Perhaps they would been with more time but it makes it challenging to vote.
  • Budget Intern
    published this page 2020-10-15 09:01:44 -0400