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Ideas in Action

Ideas in Action is the City's new Participatory Budgeting initiative, where Bostonians can decide how to spend a part of the City’s budget.

Get Involved

Learn how to submit your idea

How to Share Your Ideas

Online and by Phone 
  • Submit an idea through the online Participatory Budget Portal website.

Participatory Budget Portal

  • Call in and record your idea through the multilingual Participatory Budget Phone Line at (617) 639-3059
Paricipate in Person
  • Attend an in-person and city-sponsored idea collection workshop throughout the City in the month of July.
  • Visit any Boston Public Library Branch location or City Hall to submit an idea at a Participatory Budgeting corner station.  
Host an Ideas Collection Workshop 
  • Help us engage with as many Boston residents in Participatory Budgeting!
  • By downloading the Ideas Collection Toolkit, you can host your own Idea Collection Workshop and ensure voices in your community help shape the participatory budgeting process 

Download the Participatory Budgeting Ideas Collection toolkit

Ideas Collection Toolkit 

Ideas Collection Workshops


Criteria for Idea Submission

Who can submit project ideas?

All City of Boston residents can submit an idea regardless of age!

What type of projects can you propose?
  • Projects are limited to a one-time expense and do not create new permanent positions
  • Project Proposals may include programs and services as well as physical infrastructure
    • Infrastructure projects on private, state, or federal property are not eligible, such as projects concerning the Department of Conservation & Recreation, or the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority.
  • Project ideas related to programs and services in non-City owned facilities are eligible
  • Project ideas must be feasible to implement, and be consistent with existing City policies, laws, regulations, and the Participatory Budgeting Ordinance 
  • Projects must be implemented or managed by the appropriate City Department or agency receiving direct budgeting appropriations 
What are some examples of ideas?

Ideas may include programs and services, as well as physical infrastructure, technological improvements, and community enhancements.

Eligible Idea Examples:
  • Programming to strengthen mental health among Boston Youth
  • Expand the City's Wicked Free WiFi network to reach more low-income areas
  • Digital literacy classes for senior citizens to learn new skills and promote social connections
  • Enhance public spaces through infrastructure projects (public art, street trees, benches, ect.)
Ineligible Idea Examples 
  • Paying for the salary of a public employee to provide services
  • Repairing a privately owned building
  • Helping an organization renovate a space that it rents from a private landlord
  • Helping a religious institution repair its sanctuary 
  • Increase the frequency of MBTA buses or trains 

About Ideas In Action

Ideas in Action is an opportunity for Bostonians to unite in open dialogue about budget priorities, engage in identifying community-initiated project ideas, and take collective action to help decide what projects get implemented for the benefit of the City.

Through collaboration with City Departments, partnerships with community organizations, and with guidance from our External Oversight Board (EOB), the Office of Participatory Budgeting (OPB) plans to host yearly Participatory Budgeting cycles in order to: 

  • Offer opportunities for the public to propose community-centered project ideas to address local priorities and vote on those they would like to see funded with the Office’s budget, and
  • Gauge and identify resident priorities to help inform future City and departmental budget investments.

For this first pilot year, OPB and its Board have created a “Participatory Budgeting Rulebook” to provide a comprehensive framework and standard set of rules and operations for this new initiative in Boston. 

ideas in action logo

Have question or need assistance? Contact:


ideas in action timeline



July 1 - July 31, 2024

Collection Campaign 

Submit your ideas by:

  • Visiting the Online PB Portal Website
  • Calling the PB Phone Line at (617) 635-3059
  • At PB Corners inside Boston Public Libraries and City Hall 
  • Attend City Sponsored Idea Collection Workshops
  • Host your own Idea Collection Workshop 
October - November, 2024

Visioning Forums and Online Engagement 
Help determine which ideas will make it to the final ballot by attending Visioning Forums in October and November 2024.
January, 2025

Public Voting Period 
Vote on your top 5 ideas to be funded in January 2025! 

February, 2025 and onward

Fund and Implement Project Proposals 

Track progress of PB funded projects on the website and through the annual report. 


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