The online open and free platform for participative democracy of Barcelona City Cuncil

Duration: 2015 – 2016

Source of funding: Ayuntamiento de Barcelona

Project Responsible: Arnau Monterde, CNSC (‘Internet Interdisciplinary Institute/ Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)


Decidim.Barcelona is the digital platform of participatory democracy of the Barcelona City Council. It is a space of reference in terms of an open, transparent, radically democratic and collaborative city. It is based on open source so any citizen can see how it is built, reuse it or improve it.

The platform was initially designed to do the participation process of the Municipal Action Plan (PAM) 2016-2019 and districts’ (PAD) 2016-2019, using the software Consul (the software of Madrid City Council’s platform of participation, Decide Madrid). Later, Decidim has been rewritten from scratch to facilitate more modular development, a process that has resulted in

From Tecnopolitica of the CNSC group, we have been involved in the Decidim project since its conception, initially conducting the following studies:

The second of the documents is a study-proposal for the participatory process of the Municipal Action Plan (PAM) 2016-2019, which was realized from a techno-political perspective. This document settled some of the bases for the development of the participation platform Decidim.Barcelona.

Decidim is produced and deployed under the following innovative principles for technological sovereignty: (1) It is open to collaboration, with licenses such as Affero GPLv3 for the code (free to be deployed, used, copied and improved), CreativeCommons BY-SA license for the content and Open Access Database Licences for the data. This implies that Decidim infrastructure is auditable, collaborative, trustworthy and, therefore, democratic. (2) Participatory content is transparent, traceable and integral, all content is accessible, downloadable, traceable and non-manipulable. (3) Users are guaranteed privacy with verification, meaning that their personal data is never disclosed yet their identity as unique citizens with democratic rights is preserved. (4) The platform guarantees democratic quality, meaning non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all users and proposals. (5) The infrastructure is multilayer and makes possible multi-mode participation (digital and physical meetings and democratic spaces are integrated). (6) Users control personal data and notification preferences.

The platform’s interface, as well as the code and development, of Decidim is done in English and can be downloaded and contributed to at the platform’s GitHub webpage.