Green Participatory Budget - Lisbon

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Participatory budgeting represents a form of citizen participation through which citizens have effective decision-making power over a portion of the municipal budget. Photo by Tomas Halajcik on Unsplash.


Participatory budgeting represents a form of citizen participation through which citizens have effective decision-making power over a portion of the Municipal Budget. In 2008, Lisbon City Council has introduced it in Lisbon. Citizens can submit proposals for the development of projects in the city. After this, citizens vote on projects that they want to see included in the Lisbon City Council Activity and Budget Plan the following year. So far, approximately 1950 projects have been funded. Since 2019, the participatory budget has been labelled as ‘green’, meaning that the budget has been designated to fund project proposals with the aim to contribute to sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation in Lisbon. This means that projects on sustainability and climate action are integrated into the city’s Participatory Budget (PB), called the Lisbon Climate Citizenship Commitment.


  • Promote citizens’ engagement and participation in the decision-making process of the city and contribute to civic education by enabling citizens to integrate their personal concerns with the common good, to understand the complexity of problems and develop attitudes, skills and participatory practices.
  • Accelerate the investments in projects related to sustainability and mobilise private investments for these projects.
  • Integrate projects on sustainability into the Participatory Budget, and increase the resources allocated by the City to new participatory instruments (e.g. PBs for schools).
  • Encourage dialogue between citizens, public officials and civil society organisations in order to develop the best solutions to the problems taking into account available resources.
  • Adapt municipal public policies to people's needs and increase the transparency and accountability of the municipality's activities.

How it works

The different phases of Lisbon’s Participatory Budgeting process

  • Process Preparation: preparatory work for the implementation of the PB, namely evaluation of the previous edition and preparation of the PB calendar.
  • Proposal Submission: citizens submit their proposals online or in person.
  • Technical Analysis and Public Consultation: citizens' proposals are analysed by the competent municipal service or by the Parish Council. Proposals considered eligible become projects and are listed on the Participation Portal.
  • Project Voting: citizens can vote for projects through the Participation Portal, at specific locations and via SMS. The most voted projects are then integrated into the proposed Municipal Budget and Activity Plan.
  • Approval of the Budget and Plan by the City Council and the Municipal Assembly.
  • Public Presentation of winning projects: the results of the voting are announced at a Public Ceremony and published on the Participation Portal.

Within the framework of ‘Lisbon European Green Capital 2020’, the participatory budget has been transformed into ‘green participatory budget’ with the aim of encouraging citizens to propose projects related to sustainability and climate change mitigation and adaptation. The Lisbon's 'green' participatory budget was one of the first five innovative financing solutions supported by the City Finance Lab in 2018, a platform supporting the development of innovative financing solutions that increase investment in low-carbon, resilient and sustainable urban projects. This platform is managed by the company South Pole and operates across EIT Climate-KIC’s programmes.

Transformative potential

The Green participatory budget shows the commitment of the City of Lisbon to promote an urban governance approach for sustainability transition. The Green PB encourages active engagement of citizens towards sustainability and supporting the collaboration between public authorities and citizens. Additionally, the initiative represent a catalyst to unlock private-sector capital for projects related to sustainability and climate change adaptation and mitigation. The potential for replication of this initiative in other cities is high since the City Finance Lab is promoting the process of scaling up of the Lisbon Green PB in other cities that already have set up Participatory Budgeting.

More information

Lisbon participatory budget website (in Portuguese)

Climate Kic-Article


Cities of Tomorrow Green Participatory Budget Lisbon