New Orleans Gamifies the City Budget and its citizens can try their hands at being “mayor for a day’ with a new interactive website released by the Committee for a Better New Orleans.
The Big Easy Budget Game uses open data from the city to allow players to create their own version of an operating budget. Players are given a digital $602 million, and have to balance the budget ‘” keeping in mind the government’ s responsibilities, previous year’ s spending and their personal priorities.
The “game’ is quite easy to play’¦ despite the complexity of the issue that addresses, and of course how well you know New Orleans as a city.
As a “player’ you have to allocate your budget between 27 responsibilities / departments that are grouped in the following categories: Children and Families; Economic development; Open and Effective Government; Other Offices and services; Public Safety and Sustainable Communities
You can add or subtract funds by clicking on the +/- signs. For each responsibility / department a short description exist on what is responsible for. In some of them Quick polls exist so that the organizing committee can get extra info about them.
The organizing committee will compile each budget with the budgets of hundreds of other New Orleanians. After analyzing the data, it’ll report the meta-budget ‘“ the People’s Budget ‘“ not only to the players, but to the City of New Orleans. The “players’ be able to see how New Orleanians want to spend tax dollars versus how the administration actually sets the budget for that year. What’s the same? What’s different? Most importantly ‘“ how can this information help the city create a better budget?