The votes have been counted and nine projects will be implemented from January. Richelle Harrison Plesse asks Parisians what they think of the scheme

After barely six months in power, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has put in place the city’s very first ‘participatory budget’ project, setting aside €426m (£335m) – 5% of the city hall investment budget – from now until 2020. It’s the largest sum of public money ever to have been allocated to such a scheme. Proclaiming she was “handing the keys of the budget to the citizens,” the Socialist mayor put the question to her fellow Parisians: what would they do to improve their city?

Between 24 September and 1 October, the Budget Participatif poll gave city-dwellers the chance to choose from 15 projects; from building pop-up swimming pools to erecting big screens throughout the capital (neither made the final cut). More than 40,740 Parisians voted – online and in some 200 locations across the city. The winners list features nine, largely environmental projects which will be implemented from January, their total cost just shy of €20m (the amount allocated for the year 2014-2015).

Source: www.theguardian.com

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