Decide Madrid was launched to encourage citizen engagement in local planning and policymaking; allowing any resident to propose local laws
In 2015, Decide Madrid, a platform for public participation in decision making, was launched by Madrid city council.
Decide Madrid has four main functions: proposals and votes for new local laws; debates; participatory budgeting; and consultations.
The platform allows any resident to propose a new local law which other residents can vote to support
Proposals which gain support from one per cent of the census population are then put to a binding public vote.
Following this, the council then has one month to draw up technical reports on the legality, feasibility and cost of successful proposals, which are published on the platform.
Registered users can open and contribute to debates, vote for or against motions, or provide additional comments.
Debates do not trigger a specific action by the city council, but are a useful way of gauging public opinion.
The platform also enables suggestions, discussions and an annual participatory budgeting programme - which allocated €60 million in 2016.
Decide Madrid has benefitted from dedicated PR and communications support, which has raised its public profile. Some €200,000 was spent in 2016 to promote the participatory budget - equivalent to €4 per voter.
The nature of participatory budgeting means that citizens can easily see the benefits of participating, as direct financial investments are made to their chosen projects and a user-friendly website design seamlessly integrates the different opportunities for participation.
Case study date: February 2017. Based upon a case study from the report Digital Democracy: The tools transforming political engagement.
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