Browsing by Subject "Porto Alegre"

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  • Saloranta, Pauli (Helsingin yliopisto, 2020)
    This Master’s thesis is a study of the basis and nature of participatory budgeting in the City of Helsinki, called OmaStadi, in context of international participatory budgeting models. My task is to find specific qualities in Helsinki’s participatory budgeting solution, recognise its model and, if possible, name it. Deliberative democratic theory serves as background. Other central concepts are involvement, engagement, participation and light participation. By nature this thesis is a case study with the city's decision documents as main body of material, supplemented with expert interviews. Background chapter describes discovery of participatory budgeting in Brazil’s Porto Alegre in the 1980’s and diffusion around the world in various versions. I leave for further investigation my observation that the method was already known earlier in the fields of financial management and school management. In Finnish circumstances participatory budgeting combines long known functions of citizens’ right of initiative, joint planning and public referendum in a new way. Participatory budgeting arrived in Helsinki earlier than is usually known. In the years 1999–2011 city schools implemented targeted pedagogical participatory budgeting as a part of youth participation program ”Hesan Nuorten Ääni” following the model of Norway’s city of Porsgrunn. Also unit level participatory budgeting has been tried out, with notable examples of a pilot in the New Central Library Project and the operating model of Maunula House culture and community centre. Present enseble of participatory budgetings in Helsinki consists of four complementary parts: 1) School-specific ”Ruuti-raha”, 2) youth work unit level ”RuutiBudjetti”, together with OmaStadi processes in 3) seven major districts and 4) the whole city. Specific qualities in the OmaStadi model are coequal individual participation and intensive involvement in planning. OmaStadi does not constitute new representative elements like the internationally noted Porto Alegre model and nearest reference point, Helsinki's youth work RuutiBudjetti do. Compared to internationally noted achetypes of participatory budgeting, Helsinki’s solution is a hybrid combining features from different models while emphasizing the co-development phase to which time is invested generously from both the citizen proposers as well as the city’s experts. This way, for a moment, the citizens themselves become part of the administration.