Supporting Participatory Budgeting with Shareabouts

(tl;dr version: we think Participatory Budgeting is awesome, here’s our roadmap for making it even better with more Shareabouts)

Last year, nine NYC Council Members supported community-driven budgeting, giving local residents the opportunity to decide how funding should be allocated in their neighborhoods. Known as Participatory Budgeting, it’s an exciting opportunity for people to come together for public meetings that matter. High-impact, popular projects get supported, and hundreds of residents work together, becoming empowered and informed.

At OpenPlans we’re big fans of Participatory Budgeting (or as everyone calls it, PB). In NYC, our Shareabouts maps helped people see what suggestions were on the map, and later on the ballot. Residents could use the maps to suggest ideas and provide feedback, ahead of in-person workshops. You can explore one of the maps at


We want to see Shareabouts be even more useful for PB in future years. We’re excited about it being part of a collection of powerful open source engagement tools, making participation more rewarding, and giving staff and volunteers the tools they need to manage the complexities of engaging thousands of people over several months. From initial idea gathering to presenting the final results, we want to see open, collaborative tools underpinning the entire participatory budgeting process.

Guided by what we learned from the past round, we’ve prepared a short document that identifies some improvements to make Shareabouts even better for PB. Take a look and give us feedback. If you’d like to participate in building or supporting these tools, we’re eager to talk.


Extending Participatory Budgeting with open source engagement tools.