This article presents preliminary results of a study regarding different Ibero-American cities paths in local participatory governance. In particular, local citizen participation in the municipalities of the metropolitan area of Buenos Aires and the metropolitan agglomeration of Granada are described, focusing in the instruments, institutional frameworks and plot of actors involved. The results show that the initiatives underway in both metropolises follow similar paths, despite the evident structural differences between them. Thus, an analytical framework is proposed, suggesting to considerate citizen participation systems in a comprehensive way. This also highlights the value of conducting comparative studies on a larger scale, such as those promoted by the UIM.