Participatory Budgeting in Urban Regeneration: Defining the Gap Between Formal and Informal Citizen Activism

Alisa Koroļova 1  and Sandra Treija 1
  • 1 Riga Technical University, , Riga, Latvia


Urban regeneration has been an ongoing process in many cities for decades. It has experienced various changes in terms of the main driving force, with public engagement becoming more and more important. One of the ways for communities to get involved in urban transformation is through participation in urban planning. Local communities are considered as partners in urban design processes, and in many countries their role in planning and design is defined by industry regulations. Still, one question is important – is public participation a formal tool or does it have an influence on planning and how it impacts decision making. Along with community involvement in planning processes, participatory budgeting has been developed as a public participatory approach in recent years. This gives a chance for inhabitants to participate in the budgetary decision-making process. The aim of this study is to analyse whether participatory budgeting, which is mainly municipal-led urban activism, answers the real needs of inhabitants in terms of urban regeneration. The interests of formal urban activism are defined and compared to the interests of informal urban activism actions, correlation and gaps are defined.

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