Each alderman in the City of Chicago is allotted a certain annual budget to spend on neighborhood infrastructure. UDVL works with UIC's Great Cities Institute to assist several of the participating wards with maps and data to evaluate potential budgets.
Participatory budgeting is the democratization of government spending. The residents who pay the bills decide how the money is spent. UDVL develops structures to allow for public participation in budgeting. Technology allows for tens of thousands of people to simultaneously participate in budgeting decision-making.
“Residents engaged in participatory budgeting were able to conduct better targeted outreach to ensure that everyone in the community is participating.” – Thea Crum, Great Cities Institute