Faro mayor Rogério Bacalhau (left) and Faro councillor Carlos Baía (right)
Faro mayor Rogério Bacalhau (left) and Faro councillor Carlos Baía (right)

Faro announces winning projects in people’s budget

Six projects will be funded via the people’s budget

Faro Council announced last week the six winning projects from the third edition of its ‘Orçamento Participativo’ (OP), which gives local citizens a chance to put forward and vote for their own projects.

The most voted project, with a total of 216 votes, was the exhibition “From Saint Stadium to São Luís Stadium (1923-2023)” about the 100th anniversary of Sporting Clube Farense’s stadium, which will have an expected investment of €30,000.

The idea was pitched by Farense treasurer Pedro Gonçalves and aims to see the exhibition displayed at Palácio Belmarço by the end of this year, featuring photos and other material from Farense’s archives, the council, club members and anyone else with a worthy contribution.

The second most voted project, with 212 votes, was the creation of a new leisure space at Travessa da Saúde. The project, expected to cost €25,000, was proposed by Joana Nunes and includes a small garden and improved pedestrian circulation.

Coming in third place with 187 votes was the publication of ‘Antologia das Charolas de Bordeira’, a book with around 500 transcribed traditional songs. With a price tag of €29,800, the project was proposed by Nélson Conceição.

With the fourth largest number of votes (161) was a proposal by Vera Fernandes to renovate the Santo António do Alto sports field in Atalaia (€30,000), followed by the marking of walking trails in Faro and Montenegro (João Rios’s proposal with 119 votes), and the marking of trails in Estoi (proposed by José Afonso with 86 votes), both expected to cost €30,000.

These projects are expected to be completed by 2025 and represent an investment of €174,800, with an added €10,000 allocated to the OP Schools project, featuring proposals suggested and voted by high school students in the municipality.

In the third edition of Faro’s people’s budget, 52 citizens presented proposals – 35 presented at participatory assemblies and 17 presented online.

The council trimmed down the number of proposals to 31, with each of the four municipalities in the county (Faro, Conceição and Estoi, Montenegro, and Santa Bárbara de Nexe) required to have at least one winning project. A total of 2,301 votes were registered (2,141 online and 160 at a booth at the municipal market).

Faro mayor Rogério Bacalhau praised the success of the initiative during a presentation ceremony held at the Regional Museum of Algarve, stressing that it was the first edition held without limitations related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

He hailed the number of proposals put forward and votes cast, especially “considering that there is not a culture of this type of participation in Faro and in the country”.

Bacalhau added that he hopes “there can be even more participation in the next edition of this project, which allows people to think in a structured way about the needs and projects they want for their territories.”

By Michael Bruxo

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