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City of Cambridge Announces Winning Projects for 10th Participatory Budgeting Process After Record Voting Turnout and City Investment

Group PB Photo from 10th Cycle
Group Photo of PB10 Vote Results Attendees

The City of Cambridge today announced the results for the tenth Participatory Budget (PB) Process. Eight projects in total were selected after a record 10,522 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted how to spend $2 million on capital and operating projects to improve the community. This year’s record voter turnout represents more than a 20% increase in voter participation from the previous PB cycle. Cambridge committed a record-high $2,065,000 for this year’s process, which more than doubled the previous budget of $1 million. The increased funding enabled the implementation of more projects that benefit the public and helped align the fiscal year 2025 budget with the priorities of Cambridge residents and local partners.

In order of ranked votes, the following eight projects won $2,065,000 in fiscal year 2025 funding:

“We continue to see increased participation and enthusiasm from the community for our Participatory Budgeting process,” said Cambridge City Manager Yi-An Huang. “To surpass our ambitious goals and have a record number of residents vote in our tenth cycle speaks volumes. There was an incredible amount of thoughtful work that was put into every phase of the process, from community outreach and idea collection, to proposal development and voting. With the community so engaged, we were pleased to commit a record $2,065,000 into this year’s process and accommodate the winning capital and operating projects that were developed based on community need, sustainability and equity considerations.”  

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process that empowers community members to decide how to spend part of a public budget. The goal of Participatory Budgeting is to directly involve residents in City budgeting, encourage civic engagement, foster community spirit, and help ensure that the City of Cambridge capital and operations plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents.

Expanded on-the-ground outreach was led this year by the Budget Office in collaboration with the Community Engagement Teams at the Community Development Department and the Department of Human Service Programs, the Cambridge Community Corps, and volunteers. Community partners also encouraged participation with neighborhood associations, business associations, non-profit organizations and service providers, affordable housing communities, and others supporting this effort. Idea collection workshops were held at Cambridge public schools, fall events, and library branches. Further promotion of the initiatives was conducted online through e-newsletters, print and digital flyers, social media, news media, website listings, and two citywide print mailings. Language justice continued to be prioritized and Participatory Budgeting materials were translated and accessible in eight different languages helping reach a broader, more diverse audience.

Between September and October 2023, community members submitted nearly 1,200 PB ideas for consideration in-person, online, via email, by mail, and over the phone. Between October 2023 and February 2024, more than 70 volunteer PB Delegates researched and developed the submitted ideas into formal project proposals. During the proposal development process, PB delegates worked in committees and met with city staff to evaluate each projects relative need, impact, and feasibility, including cost estimates, and consolidated the idea list down to the final 20 project proposals that were on the March PB ballot.

From March 7-17, 2024, voting was made accessible online, as well as offered over the telephone and in-person at the Cambridge Main Library. More than 1,000 students in grades 6-12 voted across Cambridge and nearly every upper school student (grades 6-8) voted in classrooms that simulated real election day procedures for Participatory Budgeting. The Cambridge Community Learning Center also incorporated in-classroom voting for its diverse community of adult learners. 

Since the inaugural process in 2014, the City of Cambridge has collected 9,000 ideas and committed $9.5 million to 72 Participatory Budgeting projects across 10 cycles.

To learn more, please visit

Page was posted on 3/21/2024 7:34 PM
Page was last modified on 3/21/2024 7:35 PM
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