Crowd-Funding The Soft City

  • A couple of weeks ago we published our Top 10 Trends for 2012. The number 1 in this list was the rise of crowd-funded urbanism. Looking back after only three weeks, we must conclude that we’ve been pretty right on this :-). We’ve stumbled upon a couple of new initiatives that use crowd-funding to make cities better. We’d like to present these here and elaborate a little bit on the crowd-funding subject.

    In our previous article about crowd-funded urbanism we mainly spoke about physical initiatives that use the crowd to make projects financially possible — pedestrian bridges, skate ramps and swimming pools. Springwise has recently featured a bunch of new crowd-funding platforms that focus on projects that deal with the soft aspects of the city.

    LuckyAnt is a New York-based crowd-funding network to support hyper-local initiatives. The platform enables people to donate small amounts of money to help the projects that they really like to take place in their own neighborhood. LuckyAnt showcases one project that needs funding every week. Once the project has reached the goal, the money is transferred. Pledgers receive small rewards and perks in return, such as discounts and behind-the-scenes access and VIP treatments. LuckyAnt is yet only available in New York City but has plans to expand.

    Another interesting initiative is Peoplefund.it, a crowd-funding website that makes it possible to financially support community projects. Peoplefund.it is different from other local crowd-funding platforms as people can help projects not only with financial support but also by investing their time and skills. This way the local sense of community gets stronger as people collaboratively work on projects that improve the neighborhood. The website is full of local projects in categories like energy, food, health, community, environments and recreation.

    A third interesting but less urban and less local community-based initiative is Giifa. Giifa is a prospective website which hopes to help charities and non-profits find staff and tackle unemployment by using a crowd-funding model to pay for wages. As you can see there’s a lot happening in the crowd-funding world…