2013 FIRST YEAR
ACTIVITIES OUTCOMES LESSONS LEARNED
With a population of 100 000, Tartu is the second largest city in Estonia, the centre of Southern Estonia and the traditional "intellect capital". Several ICT and technology enterprises are based here, for whose support the city is developing a technology park and, in collaboration with the University of Tartu, a smart cluster of e- and m-city solutions called Smart City Lab. As is typical of a university town, the citizens of Tartu are active and technology-friendly, creating good prerequisites for online participation techniques of today. In 2013, Tartu became the first local government in Estonia to start with participative budgeting - one small part of the city's budget was decided by the locals.
Participative budgeting has been tested a lot all over the world - from Porto Alegre in Brazil to the latest members of the "club", like San Francisco, New York and ReykjavĂk. And now the city of Tartu that decided to execute the project of participative budgeting in the year 2013. Like with every new beginning, not everything went smoothly. Here, we give an overview of Tartu's experiences of this first year: how participative budgeting was prepared, put into practice, how it ended up and what was learned in the process.
ASSEMBLING A WORKING TEAM (IN MARCH 13)
DECISION OF THE CITY COUNCIL
In March 2013, the city assembled a working team consisting of the
From March until June,
mayor, the secretary of
the team counselled by
the city, the assistant
eGA developed three
All three scenarios
mayors, employees of
different scenarios for
differed from each other
the public relations
in goals, structure and
The final scenario was completed. Tthe city council confirmed
proportion of discussion
the scenario (scheme 2)
representatives from all
and the part of the budget
the factions of the city
to be allocated for
council and an expert
participative budgeting -
from the e-Governance
1% of the investment
budget, i.e. 140 000 â‚Ź (scheme 3).
Introducing the process Web environment
Gathering proposals Online form Traditional channels
SCENARIO (scheme 2)
Systemization Expert opinions Selecting ideas
An event to introduce the final selected ideas Online transmission
IMPLEMENTING THE FINAL IDEA
FROM THE BEGINNING OF DECEMBER
Voting (online, ballot box) Processing the votes Winning idea(s)
Executing the council's / participative budgeting decision
TARTU TOTAL BUDGET 
INVESTMENT BUDGET [9,5%
14 483 667 €
OF TOTAL ]
140 000 € So the idea to be presented had to:
• be an object (building, monument, statue, fountain etc.) in public city space that as many locals as possible could get a part of. • be achievable with a budget. • be achievable within one year.
151 785 712 €
•The decision making within the city government will be understood better and trust for these decisions will increase. •Cooperation within the community of Tartu and between communities will improve.
THE GOALS SET WITH PARTICIPATIVE BUDGETING
•Planning and executing the project will make all those involved more carefully consider problematic areas and possible solutions. •The citizens' wish to participate in other projects will increase.
•The reasons and logic behind budgeting will be understood better and it will be criticized less.
N O SI CI DE
TE O V G N CI U D RO T AS IN DE I
S RT PE EX S EA ID
VOTING FOR THE IDEAS The citizens of Tartu proposed 158 ideas (only one on paper, others were sent in via email)
74 ideas were put up to a vote
Votes could be cast either electronically or on paper (in the town hall's information centre) by all habitants of Tartu who were at least 16
BICYCLE RENTALS AND PARKING LOTS
SQUARES, STAIRS, PLACES
SIDEWALKS, BICYCLE LANES
ART IN PUBLIC SPACES
IDEAS SPORT 12 CULTURE, COMMUNICATION
years old. The voting lasted for a week.
2645 275 VOTING TICKETS
9 -7 70
9 -6 60 9 -5 50
9 -4 40 9 -3 30
9 -2 20
40% 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5%
2645 votes were cast in total: 2370 online and 275 on voting tickets.
The winning idea "Investing in presentation technology for Kultuurikvartal (Culture block)" got 773 votes. 3,3 % of the electorate in Tartu cast their vote. The eldest voter was a 92-year-old who gave her vote electronically. The average age of all the voters was 38 years. 1106 of the voters were men and 1539 were women.
The Tartu city council confirmed the decision by accepting the budget on the 19th of December 2013. During and after the project, several studies were conducted (observation of the organised events, focus group interviews with authors of the ideas and experts, questionnaires) to evaluate the process and its communication.
What are the people of Tartu expecting?
What can the city government do differently?
* more public gatherings (in the phase of presenting ideas) * more clarity and transparence when it comes to the budget of the city * more and better advertising for the project in public places * contemporary and well-working web and voting environments * more locations and possibilities for voting
* change the scenario (organize discussion meetings right at the beginning of the process, include more NGO's in the planning). * change the voting system so that even the "small ideas" would have better chances * think about exciting interest in younger people
THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES FOR NEXT TIME: How to better explain and advertise a process with little human and financial resources? How to motivate citizen organizations and ommunity leaders to actively mobilize thecommunity and stand behind similar ideas?
THE MAIN GOAL FOR NEXT YEAR COULD BE: 10-15 ideas, which are innovative in content and the purpose and execution of which have been discussed within the community, will be put up for a vote. Each idea has its own strong support group that actively introduces their idea. At least 10% of the electorate in tartu will participate in the vote and make an informed substantial choice.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PROJECT
Kristina Reinsalu, director of the local governments program of the e-State Academy, participative budgeting expert email@example.com
Mikser Creative Studio www.mikser.ee
Department of Public Relations of Tartu City Government firstname.lastname@example.org
Ahto Sooru email@example.com
Published on Apr 18, 2014