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Browsing by Subject "Participation"

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  • Pelkonen, Karim (2023)
    Participatory budgeting (PB) is increasingly recognized as a democratic tool for citizens to make changes in their lives by directly affecting budget allocations. However, its effectiveness in tackling environmental change issues remains unclear. In this study, it was explored to which extent PB can be used to address environmental issues directly by examining the locality and themes of environmentally themed proposals made by citizens of Helsinki in its participatory budgeting program of 2018-2019. The research questions were two-fold: (1) what kind of environmentally themed proposals did the citizens of Helsinki propose in the participatory budgeting program, and (2) how globally, glocally or locally focused were the proposals? To address these questions, a qualitative analysis of the proposals made by citizens in the Helsinki participatory budgeting program was conducted. The proposals were categorized based on their environmentally related themes and the extent to which they were focused on local or global issues was examined. The key findings suggest that citizens in Helsinki propose ideas at both local and glocal levels. Citizens were found to vote for environmentally friendly ideas more often than they propose them initially. Additionally, a categorization system was developed that can be used by cities to categorize the environmental proposals made by their citizens. This research advances knowledge in the field of environmentally based PB by shedding light on the locality of environmental proposals and the potential for PB to address global environmental issues. The developed categorization system can help cities better understand the types of environmental proposals their citizens are interested in and support the development of more effective participatory budgeting programs. Overall, this research underscores the potential of participatory budgeting as a tool for addressing environmental issues and emphasizes the importance of citizen engagement in the policy-making process.