My Neighbourhood is the annual participatory budgeting project that is run by the City of Reykjavík using Your Priorities. The project has been carried out annually since 2011.
Each year approximately € 3M is allocated by citizens to implement crowdsourced ideas from the citizenry to improve the various neighbourhoods of Reykjavík. 608 ideas have been approved to date (2012-2017).
All the neighbourhoods of Reykjavík have been visibly improved through the project, with citizens using Your Priorities to submit and debate ideas, and Open Active Voting to allocate the budget.
My Neighbourhood is a landmark project in the field of participatory budgeting, having been successfully executed since 2011 when formal collaboration between Idea Synergy’s sister organisation Citizens Foundation and the City of Reykjavík began. The project has been highlighted in international media and it has garnered a great deal of attention worldwide, winning numerous awards, including the Nordic Best Practice Challenge in 2015.
Citizens submit ideas for projects to improve their neighbourhoods, in a phase that lasts a month. At this juncture the authentication is very simple, conducted through Facebook Connect or with email/password which allowing for higher participation.
The City’s Construction Board then evaluates the cost of ideas and feasibility of each project. Here transparency is key.
Citizens then vote on the ideas through an electronic, secure and binding vote. One vote per person is ensured through strict authentication. The City’s Internal Audit monitors the election, with external experts conducting a security audit every year, before, during and after the vote.
After authentication, the voter chooses a neighbourhood within which they vote. The voting age is 16.
When an idea is chosen its cost is deducted from the budget allocated, giving citizens the chance of managing their own City budget. Voting can be done repeatedly, but the last vote counts.
The world watches Reykjavík’s digital democracy experiment – Financial Times
Digital democracy: lessons from Brazil, Iceland and Spain – The Guardian
Iceland’s pots and pans revolution – The Independent
Hacking Democracy – Forbes