Participatory Budgeting in Mals

On the basis of the case study with the community in Malles (Alta Val Venosta, Italy), the research project focusses on the process and the communication of participatory budgeting. The project started in summer 2016 and will last until summer 2018.
The administration of a city, community or unit is trying to transparent the available budget and allow the citizens to codetermine and decide about parts of it. This transparency proves to reduce corruption. During the deliberate process, the citizens need to communicate on their own and are only moderated and guided by the administration. Therefore the citizens can raise and insert project-ideas, which should be invested in local issues. In the end, the democratic election is showing the acceptance of project-ideas within the community.
With participatory budgeting, the active participation of citizens in the municipality is generating a decision-making future vision on the own local area. It also provides direct communication with political bodies and the administration of the community/city/region/etc.
Because of this complex and abstract issue, it is essential to inform the citizens about political issues and also about the possibilities and coherences of available topics, to facilitate and consolidate their decision. Due to that information design and visual communication is needed to communicate and visualize the whole process and moreover, it is used to inform the people in an attractive, effective and accessible way.
The research project focusses on different media and its suitable representation of data, depending on the topic. Therefore analogue and digital media is used, as well as physical tools for participation, to attract the citizens effectively.

2016 – 2018
Funded by
Free University of Bolzano
POLITis, Marktgemeinde Mals/Malles, Faculty of Education (unibz)