Planning Magazine: Giving Residents a Say in City Spending

Rachel Weber, GCI fellow and associate professor of urban planning and policy, was quoted in Planning Magazine on the value of participatory budgeting, in which residents have a direct say in choosing tax-funded projects. Weber led Great Cities Institute’s support of participatory budgeting in four Chicago wards.

Five years after its U.S. debut, participatory budgeting is growing. Informal opinions suggest this is good for residents, who gain new insight into community needs, what makes local government work, and why planning is integral to that process.

It’s good for planners, too. “It alerts planners to the needs and desires of people and places in communities,” says Rachel Weber, an associate professor of urban planning and policy in the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Urban Planning and Policy. “We don’t have too many systems in place intended to provide that kind of information.”

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