Participatory Budgeting event in Intermediary Cities World Forum

During the World Forum of Intermediate Cities, an event on participatory budgeting will take place

The UCLG Forum on Intermediary Cities is a consultation and policy development process that culminates in an event every two years. The Forum, conceived as a political process, is led by the City of Chefchaouen with the support of a core group of pilot intermediary cities. The event will be held in Chefchaouen, Morocco from 5 to 7 July.

On July 7th the event: "Participatory Budgeting in Intermediary Cities: Challenges, specificities and contribution to urban democracy" will take place.


Date and venue

Saturday 7, July 10.15 – 11:45, Museum Room, Chefchaouen

Working languages

Arabic, Spanish and English

Presenters  & Partners

  • Chefchaouen – Larache [TBC] / Réseau Méditerranéen des Médinas [Mediterranean Medinas Network]
  • Cuenca Municipality, Ecuador
  • FMDV: Global Fund for City Development
  • Initiative Budgeting / Local Initiative Support Program, Russian Federation
  • IOPD, International Observatory for Participatory Democracy
  • Municipality of Molina de Segura and Transparency Council for Murcia Region, Spain
  • University College London, DPU, The Bartlett Development Planning Unit
  • Valongo Municipality, Portugal / Rede de Autarquias Participativas [National Network of Participatory Municipalities]



Participatory Budgeting [PB] is an innovative and democratic way of empowering and engaging citizens along with local governments to produce and change their environment and quality of lives. It fosters governmental transparency and accountability, as it encourages informed citizens' engagement and democratic processes locally. PB has been expanding over the last 30 years, from one experience to over 3000 in 2018 in all regions of the world. Interestingly, they overwhelmingly take place in intermediary cities [50 000 to 1 millions inhabitants according to UCLG definition]. Despite this massive presence, their specific and huge contributions have been largely ignored internationally and nationally. Remarkably, no event has been organized so far to share and learn:  what these processes in intermediary cities share in common, what types of dialogues between citizens and their local government are taking place, what are their specificities and what are the common challenges they face as far as PB is concerned. It is the prime objective of this event to address these crucial questions. 

It seems that their forms of citizens' engagement are quite specific, primarily when considering social groups such as rural population of the municipality, migrants, or the youth. It seems as well, and this will be examined through the cases, that the resources mobilized by communities through their labor or other means for the implementation of PB selected projects is superior than for instance in large cities. Apparently the nature and scale of projects are quite specific [smaller, city scale and not only neighborhood scale] and the form of democratic governance much simplified with more direct democracy practices. We do hope to learn much more on these specific aspects and many more

Development of the session

This share and learn event is organized in three parts: during the first hour, various intermediaries cities [Cuenca, Ecuador; Chefchouen, Morocco; Molina de Segura, Spain; Russian Intermediary cities and Valongo, Portugal] of different sizes, types and dynamics will briefly [ten minutes each] share their experience and address the guiding questions mentioned previously. The next twenty minutes will offer the possibility of a debate with the participants and the last ten minutes will allow for wrapping up, primarily identifying some recommendation and what could be done next.  

Expected outcomes

- More awareness about the experiences of Participatory Budgeting occurring in intermediary cities across several countries in the world

- The identification of good practice examples able to address one major objective of the Forum: contribution of PB to a " Global Urban Democracy in order to unlock local implementation processes".

- Some recommendations related to PB in intermediary cities that could be used for advocacy, lobbying and policy influencing of the international agenda


UCLG Forum on Intermediary Cities Site

Concept note