Green(er) Cities and Their Citizens: Insights from the Participatory Budget of Lisbon

Falanga, Roberto; Verheij, Jessica; Bina, Olivia (2021). Green(er) Cities and Their Citizens: Insights from the Participatory Budget of Lisbon. Sustainability, 13(15), p. 8243. MDPI 10.3390/su13158243

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There is rising scholarly and political interest in participatory budgets and their potential toadvance urban sustainability. This article aims to contribute to this field of study through the specificlens of the city of Lisbon’s experience as an internationally acknowledged leader in participatorybudgeting. To this end, the article critically examines the lessons and potential contribution of theLisbon Participatory Budget through a multimethod approach. Emerging trends and variations ofcitizen proposals, projects, votes, and public funding are analysed in tandem with emerging key topicsthat show links and trade-offs between locally embedded participation and the international discourseon urban sustainability. Our analysis reveals three interconnected findings: first, the achievements ofthe Lisbon Participatory Budget show the potential to counteract the dominant engineered approachto urban sustainability; second, trends and variations of the achievements depend on both citizens’voice and the significant influence of the city council through policymaking; and, third, the shifttowards a thematic Green Participatory Budget in 2020 was not driven by consolidated social andpolitical awareness on the achievements, suggesting that more could be achieved through the 2021urban sustainability oriented Participatory Budget. We conclude recommending that this kind ofanalysis should be systematically carried out and disseminated within city council departments, promoting much needed internal awareness of PBs’ potential as drivers of urban sustainability. Wealso identify further research needed into the sustainability potential of green PBs.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography > Unit Political urbanism and sutainable spatial development
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography > Human Geography
08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
11 Centers of Competence > Center for Regional Economic Development (CRED)

UniBE Contributor:

Verheij, Berit Jessica


500 Science > 550 Earth sciences & geology








Louis Karl Zwyssig

Date Deposited:

16 Sep 2021 13:17

Last Modified:

16 May 2024 17:32

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

participatory budget; urban sustainability; European green capital; European greendeal; Lisbon




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