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NEWS FROM BÜTZOW: Proceeding after closure of the EmPaci project

3rd Partcipatory Budget started and 2rd Participatory Budget winning projects implemented

The voting phase for the 3rd participatory budget was started on 1 February 2023. Again, a proposal booklet was printed and distributed to 4,000 Bützow households. The Bützow team is also advertising the vote on Facebook, Instagram and via the city's WhatsApp channel. 
Citizens can vote online until 15 February and then in person at the town hall until 24 February 2023. 

Voting will take place directly on Bützow`s municipal website. The proposal booklet is also embedded as an e-paper. Here is the direct link.

On 1 March 2023 the winning projects will be announced. 

Also the status of implementation of the 2nd participatory budget was publsihed on the city website: Currently, the Bützow team ist preparing to award the contract for the Calisthenics Park planned for the "Park am Schloss". The playground for the rubber path and also the 9 colourful benches from the "Playground flair" proposal are almost ready and are waiting for frost-free weather for installation. 

Further information can be found here.




Evaluation scheme for Participatory Budgeting presented with examples of Bützow

During the last PBbase network meeting, the PB evaluation scheme was presented. The scheme was exemplified with data and key performance indicators of the PB pilot in Bützow.

The English and the German versions can be downloaded here.




Participatory Budgeting is gaining in importance in Mecklenburg Western Pomerania (MV)!

On the one hand, the framework conditions for participatory budgeting will become more favourable in the future: The coalition agreement of the SPD and Die Linke states: "The coalition partners will modernise the municipal constitution in the following points in order to strengthen life and participation in the municipality. To this end, they will ... examine whether interested municipalities can be supported in introducing participatory budgeting with a guideline from the state."

On the other hand, the municipality of Selmsdorf is the second municipality in MV to introduce a participatory budget based on the model of the city of Bützow. Bützow is the German pilot municipality of the EU-funded InterregBSR project EmPaci initiated and led by the University of Rostock (UR) as lead partner. Bützow has been an active advocate of ParticipatoryBudgeting over the last three years and has continued to be active in the PBbase network since the end of the EmPaci project (December 2021) in order to draw attention to participatory budgeting as an instrument and to pass on the experiences made, but also the documents produced - whether they are relevant legally, for information, training or other purposes - to other potentially interested municipalities. Selmsdorf, for example, used Bützow's participatorybudget statute as a working basis. A very nice success for those who paved the way for the PB in Bützow, such as the city itself and the non-profit Pferdemarktquartier e.V. association.

A further exchange is also possible in the PBbase network via LinkedIn: https://lnkd.in/dmj8VnCV




The Bützow PB is in the Rostock local press!

The German EmPaci team contributed an article to the non-profit journal “Rostocker Stadtgespräche” which is focussed on urban development and citizen empowerment:

Lorson, P.C./Haustein, E./Voß, K. (2021):  Bützower Bürgerhaushalt 2021: Neue Form der Bürgerbeteiligung geht in die zweite Runde, in: Rostocker Stadtgespräche, Vol. 26 Issue 3, pp. 23-25.

The (German) article can be downloaded here



Announcing the winners! – Summarising the results of 2021

The citizens have voted and the results are here. From 25th August to 10th September 2021, 1 750 votes were collected to decide how the 40.000 EUR-budget is to be distributed. Over the course of the online voting 360 accounts were created at the online platform. The offline voting was possible at the assembly hall and additionally at a little event of a local TV channel (“NDR-Fest”) at the last day of voting.

Something special about the winning proposal, is not necessarily the topic of planting trees in a certain area of Bützow, but the proposer itself. A little girl made the proposal, literally saying: “I miss the trees.” That shows, that even the little ones contribute to PB and have a chance to realize their ideas!

Final voting results:

Proposal no. 58:             "Plant trees"                                                220 votes            10 000 EUR
Proposal no. 42:             "Sports parc/Fitness parc"                       127 votes             10 000 EUR
Proposal no. 43:             "New flair on all playgrounds“                98 votes              10 000 EUR
Proposal no. 20:             "Playground Fritz-Reuter-Allee"             85 votes              10 000 EUR

Further information: 2. Bürgerhaushalt: Die Ergebnisse / Amt Bützow-Land (buetzow.de)

Outlook on the implementation:

The implementation of the first proposal is already planned for the 1st quarter of 2022. The second winning proposal will be further discussed with the proposer about the wishes for equipment and location. The implementation is planned for the second quarter of 2022 together with the remaining winning proposals. Meanwhile all of last year’s winners are nearly implemented, as only one project is pending due to an official approval at the state level.

Let’s see, what the PB process in 2022 brings!



Feasibility check done – 61 proposals up to vote on

From the previous 138 proposals, 61 passed the feasibility check. Citizens will have 5 votes to distribute among the ideas. This year 40.000 EUR are ready to be used for the citizens’ needs. Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, an offline and online voting is possible, from 25th August to 10th October 2021.

Again, an extensive information brochure will be provided to inform about the proposals, including their descriptions, the locations and the view of the administration regarding the costs and scope of the possible implementation.

The next date will be the announcement of the winning proposals at 10th September after the end of the voting phase.



138 new ideas for Bützow and the first implementation of PB projects

The new PB process for the second pilot has started and the proposal phase has ended on 30th April. In total, 138 proposals were collected at a balanced ratio by online and offline submission. Currently, the feasibility of all proposals will be checked and will be ready at the end of July!

While the second PB process is already running, the proposals of the first run come to life. The first project of a PB in Bützow is already implemented: A renewed hiking trail around Bützow.

The three remaining projects will follow soon and are visualised on the website by sketches of local young artist.

Let’s see, what the new proposals will bring to Bützow!



Recapping the voting phase

A reminder: At the end of the proposal phase 133 proposals were submitted by citizens of any age. The diversity was really surprising and overwhelming.

The feasibility check was made, based on criteria published in a statue. To give an idea, some criteria are:

  • Responsibility (of the municipality)
  • Cost limit (initial amount of 10.000 EUR and no significant follow-up costs)
  • Feasibility (regarding the implementation of the proposal)
  • Exclusion of double funding (for the same proposal or earlier implemented ones)
  • Check for conflicting resolutions (existing prohibitive municipal council resolutions)

56 out of these 133 proposals passed this feasibility-check in September. All proposals (feasible or not) were categorized by topics and target groups and published in a brochure in October. Every proposer as well as target group related associations, institutions and schools got at least one copy. After that, the voting phase started, divided into two phases (also due to the COVID-19 pandemic).

1st phase: online voting 19.10. - 25.10.

Number of participants:  474 citizens (302 valid)
Number of votes (max 5 per participant) 1 446 votes
Average age:  49 years
Youngest participant: 12 years
Oldest participant:  93 years


2nd phase: offline voting 26.10. - 30.10.

Number of participants: 97 citizens (97 valid)
Number of votes (max 5 per participant) 475 votes
Average age:  60 years
Youngest participant: 13 years
Oldest participant:  85 years


Final voting results (4 proposals selected after number of votes and remaining budget):

Proposal no. 1:  "Traffic concept Wallstraßen" 357 votes 5 000 EUR
Proposal no. 10:  "Skater facility Bützow" 157 votes 10 000 EUR
Proposal no. 11: "A place in Bützow,...."
(recreation and meeting park)
154 votes 10 000 EUR
Proposal no. 52: "Extension of a hiking trail…"  70 votes 5 000 EUR


Link: Ergebnisse Bürgerhaushalt 2020 / Amt Bützow-Land (buetzow.de)

Currently, the implementation of the proposals is prepared. The proposal provider will be involved in the actual realisation as well.

The goal is, to realise the winning proposals as soon as possible before the 2nd PB starts. We are excited to see the first PB project (directly proposed and voted by citizens) realised in this state!



Proposal phase completed and feasibility checked - get ready for the voting

 After the completed feasibility check about 60 of the 133 proposals are left and eligible for the voting. The citizens may like more than one proposal and will get 5 votes, to distribute between the different proposals.

All provided proposals will be presented in an information brochure that has the following features:

  • A feedback system that shows the result of the feasibility check (green=accepted/red=rejected)
  • An explanation for every rejected proposal
  • A map to locate the proposals in the municipality
  • A sorting according to categories for a better overview and a presentation suitable for target groups

This brochure will be available online and offline around the municipality. In addition, the involved citizen initiative will support the dissemination of the brochure. Maybe it will be sent to the households by mail.

Due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic the date for the voting phase is delayed and a bit uncertain. A possible schedule looks as follows:

  • Online phase, starts around the 12th October and will be about a week
  • Offline phase, starts after the online phase and will last until the 31st of October (During that period, the citizen initiative plans events to inform the citizens and generate even more voters.)
  • The last day of voting will end with the announcement of the results on a festival which is organized by the church (inauguration of new bells) to attract even more people through the event character.

Parallel the planning for a better IT-solution of the online platform for the second edition of the participatory budget continues.



There is a Role for Everyone in the PB Puzzle


… the proposal phase for the 1st Bützow participatory budget ended. For a municipality with just about 7 500 inhabitants the received 133 proposals are outstanding and a great start!

The next step:

… is the evaluation of this unexpected number of proposals. This feasibility check is scheduled for June and July. The goal is to prepare a final list of possible projects for the voting phase.

The list will give information, why and why not a proposal is admissible. That is a major requirement to be transparent, to give the citizens feedback and to consider the relevant statues inside of the administration`s decision-making. 

The step after:

… is to publish the voting list on August 17th and to provide comprehensive information about the proposals for the next two weeks. As such, the online voting phase will start an on 31st August for one week. Additionally, an "offline voting" in the context of an event on 5 September is planned too. But due to this Corona pandemic, this date is uncertain for now and the future planning of events is considerably more difficult.