The mayor of Milan, Giuliano Pisapia, is seeking the advice of teenagers to decide how to allocate 9 million euros (10 million dollars‘) worth of the city‘s budget, as part of a new grassroots democracy scheme.
Milan is the first Italian city to engage in participatory budgeting, a process spearheaded in Brazil in the late 1980s which allows citizens to have some say over local spending priorities. Pisapia has adopted it this year, and extended it to people aged 14-22.
"I know that many of you have advice to give or ideas to propose on where to place a sports field or on how to improve a public space, for example by creating parking for scooters and bicycles," the mayor wrote in a letter distributed to 98,000 youngters living in Milan, to invite them to take part in a public assembly scheduled for October 14. Similar meetings with older Milanese have already been held over the past weeks.
By the end of the year, the Pisapia administration aims to select a few projects suggested by citizens, to be carried out during the course of 2016. The 9-million-euro budget is a small fraction of the 4.7 billion euros the city spent last year.
- Story courtesy of an article on the Europe Online web magazine