Can you crowd-source the money to improve your neighborhood?

Tue, 2013-06-25 13:48 -- Jesse Berst

An article at The Information Daily discusses the rise of the "maker" culture and how it promises to transform cities. I think the piece has an important message for city leaders.

Take a moment to read the article if you aren't yet up to speed in the high-tech, do-it-yourself Maker culture and the websites at its center. And notice in particular the sites and services that are springing up to focus on city issues, as this brief excerpt from the piece suggests:

"Makers are starting to reimagine the systems that surround the world around them. That is, they are bringing the “maker mindset” to the complex urban challenges of health, education, food, and even citizenship. 

Makers are coming together in civic innovation hackathons to prototype new forms of citizen-led governance. Makers experimenting with new forms of community launched what would become the sharing economy, establishing new ways to measure and create value in local economies."

We've told you previously about Nextdoor, which just partnered with New York City. This article also highlights neighbor.ly and Fundrise, which focus on group fundraising for municipal projects (including infrastructure). We also urge you to visit the cities section on the Code for America web site for inspiration and ideas. – Jesse Berst

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Jesse Berst is the founding Chairman of the Smart Cities Council. Click to subscribe to SmartCitiesNow, the weekly newsletter highlighting smart city trends, technologies and techniques.