Thursday, 25 June 2015

Warsaw's Citizens' Budget - vote NOW! (closes midnight Friday)

Voting in this year's Budżet Partycypacyjny ends tomorrow. This year, Warsaw's democratically chosen budget project is far better organised than last year. The main improvement for us living in Jeziorki has been the splitting of Ursynów into three separate regions - Upper Ursynów North, Upper Ursynów South and Green Ursynów. Zielony (Green) Ursynów consists of Jeziorki to the south and Grabów to the north. The pool of money set aside for Green Ursynów was 1,464,000 złotys, and citizens have the chance to choose which of 13 projects they want to see realised - up to the total sum of the allocated pool.

Of the 13 projects, all are entirely laudable and being able to select several was a huge improvement over last year. Here in Jeziorki, most of the money allocated to my vote went to traffic and public transport improvements (pavement for the short stretch of Karczunkowska between ul. Puławska and ul. Sarabandy, traffic calming for all residential streets) but the bulk of my spend I allocated to our lakes between Trombity and Dumki - a proper footpath, above all and bins for the ponds at Wąsal and Pozytywki.

Having selected my choice of projects for Green Ursynów, I was about to post them, when I was reminded that I can also vote for another 1,200,000 złotys-worth of projects for Ursynow-wide projects. Here, I voted mainly for road safety, ecology and IT projects.

This is all so much better than last year, when all Ursynów was treated as one area, and you could only vote for one project; the winning project was a centre for disabled people. This time, there's no one great big-budget project that stands out above all others like last year; there's a greater choice and a greater feeling that the local authorities are listening to the citizens. The structure of the IT solution is (largely) intuitive, allowing voters to see how much of the budget they've 'spent' and how much they have left. My only minor gripes are the ReCaptcha-type image of letters you have to type in - does it or not include spaces? ('no' is the answer) and the journey could be better signposted. Ah... you need to register/log in online. I thought I did this last year, apparently not - register again (you'll need your PESEL number).

So then - if you live in Jeziorki - or in Ursynów - or in any of Warsaw's districts, voting ends tomorrow (Friday 26 June) at midnight. So VOTE! (Click here to start process). Then click on the big red 'GŁOSUJ' banner, register/log in, then chose your district, and begin selecting the projects you want to see realised in your neighbourhood.

Follow-up, Friday 26 June, morning. I get an automated e-mail from City Hall, thanking me for voting, reminding me what I voted for, and saying that the results will be published on Friday 10 July, and the projects completed by the end of 2016. Good stuff!

This time last year:
Beginning of the end of PO [Civic Platform]

This time last year:
Where's the beef? Fillet steak in Warsaw

This time two years ago:
W-wa Zachodnia spruced up for the football, W-wa Stadion reopened

This time three years ago:
Literature and biology

This time six years ago:
Old Nysa van spotted in Grabów

This time seven years ago:
The oats in the neighbouring field rise high


Alexander said...

The web site also has some explaining in English.

Life is too short to learn Polish -))



Chris Jones said...

It turns out you don't need a PESEL, either. I don't have one (or at least, have decided not to find out what it is) and there's a little check box above the PESEL fields in the form which makes them, happily, disappear.


Michael Dembinski said...

@ Alexander, @ Chris Jones

Looks like things are getting better all the time! I love this - a clear case of Poland (Warsaw at least) on the path towards civilisation, win-win, enhanced trust - all these good things.