Until 31 May, Riga residents have the opportunity to submit ideas for the development and improvement of their neighbourhood as part of the Participatory Budget Ideas Competition. This competition will be held for the fifth consecutive year.
The aim of the competition is to give an opportunity for residents to directly decide how part of the city budget is spent and to improve the public environment in their neighbourhoods, and also to give the municipality feedback on the necessary improvements in the urban environment.
Any person with a declared place of residence in Riga and who has reached 16 years of age or more and non-governmental organisations registered in the city can submit their idea. Each person or non-governmental organisation can submit one idea. Applicants are invited to submit ideas that will improve the surrounding urban environment, can be implemented on municipality-owned land and are not commercial or religious in nature.
This year, the total funding available is EUR 700,000 and the total cost of a project idea can be up to EUR 70,000.
Riga City Executive Director Jānis Lange on the Participatory Budget Ideas Competition: “The participatory budget is an opportunity for everyone in Riga to get involved in improving their neighbourhood, and this is the fifth year we are inviting residents to submit their ideas. Every year we learn from the experience of previous years to improve both the submission and implementation process. This year, we will provide greater support to the residents of Riga so that good ideas become valuable applications for the competition. I encourage everyone in Riga to participate and submit ideas for your neighbourhood!”
In order to encourage citizens to take part in the participatory budget competition, this year the slogan ‘Your idea in your neighbourhood!’ has been chosen, addressing people from posters in the urban environment.
Get support for developing ideas
In order to help residents prepare good quality applications of their ideas, the municipality is organising an information seminar and four ideas workshops. The ideas workshops will give residents the opportunity to consult with municipal experts on the possibilities of implementing their ideas, to learn all about filling in an idea application, including the drawing up of an estimate, and also to meet like-minded people with whom to come up with the best idea for their neighbourhood.
- Information event on the 2023 Participatory Budget Ideas Competition on 23 March at 17:00 in the meeting room of the Riga City Council. In order to attend the event in person, you must apply in advance by filling in application. You can watch the event live on Facebook.
- Participatory budget ideas workshop in Imanta on 29 March at 17:30 at Riga Culture and Recreation Centre “Imanta”, 29 Anniņmuižas Boulevard. Apply here: http://bit.ly/42aTuLf
- Participatory budget ideas workshop in Teika on 5 April, 17:30 at the Riga NGO House, 43a Ieriķu Street. Apply here: http://bit.ly/3FmBaFd
- Participatory budget ideas workshop in Āgenskalns on 12 April at 17:30 at the Riga City Neighbourhood Residents Centre, 46 E. Smiļģa Street. Apply here: bit.ly/3yJbXB6
- Participatory budget ideas workshop in Sarkandaugava on 19 April at 17:30 at the Children and Youth Centre “Laimīte”, 24 Sarkandaugavas Street. Apply here: bit.ly/3Lo4PSe.
Before submitting an idea, the applicant can obtain additional information about the land plot selected for the idea and also clarify any other questions by writing to email@example.com.
Submission of applications
Applications will be accepted electronically until 31 May, 12:00 by completing and submitting the project idea application form at riga.lv or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications can also be submitted in person until 31 May, 12:00 at the Riga City Neighbourhood Residents Centre points located at 46 Eduarda Smiļģa Street, 31 Daugavpils Street, 6A Gobas Street, 43A Ieriķu Street, and 49/53 Brīvības Street. Applications can also be placed in the mailboxes located at the abovementioned addresses of the Neighbourhood Residents Centre points.
After the deadline for submitting the applications, the evaluation committee will assess the potential implementation of the ideas in accordance with opinions of the competent authorities. Most potential ideas will be put to a vote of citizens in October. The ideas that receive the most votes at balso.riga.lv will be implemented.
Last year’s competition attracted a total of 36 ideas and 30 projects were put to the public vote. Between 1 October and 31 October, a total of 42,852 votes were submitted, supporting the implementation of 12 projects.
The Participatory Budget Project Ideas Competition has been organised by the Riga City Council since 2019, and a total of 36 projects submitted by residents have been supported over the four year-period of the competition. In 2019, Riga was the first municipality in Latvia to introduce a participatory budget. The new Law on Local Governments makes participatory budgeting mandatory for all local governments starting from 2025.
Information prepared by: Edīte Matuseviča, Project Coordinator at External Communication Division of Riga City Council, e-mail: email@example.com