Such a scheme is to encourage citizens to participate in the budgeting process and reflect their voices in the municipal policies. The suggestions citizens can make are mostly about ideas on how to address inconveniences in their daily lives or urban issues such as transportation or climate crisis.
This year, for the first time in the city’s history, KRW 10 billion will be spent to turn proposals made by citizens from the platform entitled “Democracy Seoul” (democracy.seoul.go.kr) into real projects. This effort is to realize the policies resulted from the deliberation and discussion of citizens more actively.
Citizens can make proposals anytime through the platform. Those selected for the participatory budgeting will be included in the city’s budget and finalized once the Seoul Metropolitan Council reviews and approves them.
Categories of the proposals covered by the participatory budgeting are (i) proposals for the metropolitan area (approximately KRW 30 bil), (ii) those for Democracy Seoul (around KRW 10 bil), and (iii) those for smaller districts (“gu” or “dong”) (KRW 30 bil or so).
Proposals for the metropolitan area are for two or more autonomous districts or the cover a wide range of the urban area. Especially the number of proposal categories for the metropolitan area will increase from 10 to 18: democracy of Seoul, women, welfare, environment, citizens’ health, labor and livelihood, safety, transportation, culture, tourism and sports, housing, urban regeneration, parks, economy, smart city, education, safe water cycle, and the Hangang River.
Any resident of Seoul can make proposals for the metropolitan area on http://yesan.seoul.go.kr, by mail, or by visiting the Seoul Metropolitan Government from February 1 through 28.
Once proposals are submitted and reviewed for their legitimacy, the Public-Private Budget Review Committee will deliberate their objective, scope, content, and cost. Citizens then vote the proposals through the “mVoting” system, and the general assembly approves and makes the final decision to make them real policy projects for the 2022 participatory budgeting.
Oh Kwan-yeong, the Chairperson of Seoul Democracy Commission, said, “The participatory budgeting system is a process of participatory democracy where citizens can actively make, review and select proposals to improve the lives of their own and others’ in the local community.” He added, “Since the budget is allocated this year exclusively for proposals from “Democracy Seoul” for the first time, we’d like to ask for more attention and participation of citizens.”