Civic Crowdfunding

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A report on the current state of crowdfunding in Europe and America

Transcript of Civic Crowdfunding

  • 1.byAlessio Barollo, architectDaniela Castrataro, twintangiblesThe report has been kindly translated by web-translations.com

2. Introduction................................................................................................................................1. Origins and Principles of Crowd-funding................................................................................1.1 Origins........................................................................................................................1.2 Principles....................................................................................................................2. Civic crowd-funding platforms, how they work and their trends.............................................2.1 How they work...........................................................................................................2.2 Civic crowd-funding models.......................................................................................2.3 Trends........................................................................................................................2.4 Platforms....................................................................................................................3. Examples of contemporary crowd-funding.............................................................................4. Thesis.....................................................................................................................................4.1 Conditions.................................................................................................................4.2 How it works..............................................................................................................4.3 Model........................................................................................................................5. SWOT Analysis......................................................................................................................Conclusion.................................................................................................................................References................................................................................................................................566899910111217171920222324 3. ! # $ % ( % ( ! # $ % ( ) 0 ) 1 2 2 % 3 4 % 5 2 0 ! % 6 ( 7 2 2 3 ) % 3 0 2 % % 3 2 2 3 2 2 8 9 @ A B C D E AFG HI 2 PQ R 2 S1 2 1 2 T U VI 2 2 W X ( ( ( 2 Y` 2 3 a b 5 cG % F dQ R e F FQ R % e F HQ R 2 % F P! R 2 F SU % % X 7 f 3 5 2 86 X 04 4. g h i p q r s t i u q hIn this short paper, we aim at presenting both a new type of the wider phenomenon that iscrowd-funding, known as civic crowd-funding, and a proposal for feasible active citizenry.The rst aim of this paper is to put forward a feasible use of civic crowd-funding within the national territory [Italy],rather than offering a fruitless analysis of this phenomenon. However, in order to put forward a proposal with solid andfactual foundations, we included a rather detailed analysis of this phenomenon. We started from the origins and principlesof contemporary civic crowd-funding, and later described the worlds major existing platforms, how they work, the modelsthey follow and the upcoming trends. We only presented a few platforms, both because this phenomenon is new andbecause of the limited scope of this paper. After a brief overview of projects that used civic crowd-funding, we put forwardour proposal, stating the basis and way of operating of a certain model of civic crowd-funding which in our opinion couldbe reproduced in our country. This way, a process which both addresses the scarcity of capital in local administrations andbrings citizens closer to institutions would be created, thus increasing peoples respect for public assets and implementinga model of active citizenry and collective innovation. If this model were put into practice systematically, it could place Italy atthe forefront in this sector as regards the possible future developments of civic crowd-funding, making it a model for othercountries, especially in Europe. We hope to offer a useful and inspirational read for many to put into practice our theories.Alessio BarolloDaniela Castrataro05Introduction 5. v w v x y During April 1968, the Computer Graphics in Architectureand Design conference took place at the University ofYale. Here a group of experts came together in order toassess the changes the use of computers would bring tothe job of architects. Among the participants were StevenCoons, Bruce Graham, Carl Steinitz, David Evans, NicolasNegroponte from MIT, Charles Moore from the University ofYale, Louis Kahn, Eric Teicholz from Harvard and WarrenMcCulloch. After an initial uncertainty, the majority of theparticipants agreed that computers could become a usefultool for projects. Not many know this, not even among theexperts, but in those days civic crowd-funding relative tourban planning was being born at Yale, even though itacquired this name many years and many megabytes later.Anew urban development model was born from the minutesof the conference: this model also put the environmentand the people at the heart of a project, rather than justthe designer and the physical system he works with.Negroponte states that thanks to new processes, it wontbe the architect and his personal and cultural experienceswho imposes the project upon the users. Rather, it willbe the users themselves, aided by new technologies andmachines that turn into a collective mind, who lead theproject. This way the project goes denitively from beinga product to being a process. People are no longer seenonly as end users but rather as sources of ideas. Thecombination of ideas, innovation and creativity, togetherwith new technologies, results in a horizontal process.Both organisations and groups of private citizens haveattempted to involve public administrations in oft-neglected collective projects, creating an active planningwhich is based on the above horizontal structure. Welive in a time in which information technologies andsocial networking have been moulding our minds, d e fmaking us aware of our ability to partake in the bettermentand renewal of society. The potential of web 2.0 is nallyturning into powerful ofine collaborations. Applied to urbanplanning, this means that citizens can be directly involvedin the formation of processes, services or real publicinfrastructures in a coordinated and collaborative way,whilst being fully aware of having the right tools to do it.Italy currently has the right infrastructure to be ableto develop such methods. Civic crowd-sourcing coulddevelop in our national territory into crowd-funding, namelynancial crowd-sourcing, which would address the issueof scarce public funding. Crowd-funding has existed fora few years and has been developing greatly, becomingmore and more complex and elaborate. Crowd-fundingis part of a phenomenon which takes online communitiesofine, turning them into stronger forms of cooperationand participation: one of its natural developmentsis the phenomenon known as civic crowd-funding.06origins 6. of the pedestal which was to support the statue itself.The situation stalled until the media tycoon Joseph Pulitzerraised the publics awareness through his newspaper: heencouraged the citizens to donate in order for the publicwork to be carried out. A hundred thousand dollars wasraised in 5 months, collated from 120,000 micro-donations,thus allowing for the statue to be placed in New York Bay.There was also another result, which is as important:the local community started to feel particularlyattached to this symbol because they had activelycontributed to its realisation, actively cooperating withthe public administration which was managing its use.In line with civic crowd-sourcing, civic crowd-fundingis dened as the collective nancing of public worksand projects, which is not included in the budget of therelevant governmental bodies or local administrations.It is carried out by citizens, organisations and privatebusinesses, which sometimes co-fund the works togetherwith the local authorities themselves. This new model ofdistributed microcredit is not really a new practice. Letsgo back to the USA, this time to New York: in 1884 theFrench were about to send the Statue of Liberty to theUnited States, however the American Committee hadnot allocated all the necessary funds to the construction07 7. g h i j k l m n l o p q rWecanascribetheoriginsofmodernciviccrowd-funding(notcontemporary,asitnaturallydidnotmakeuseoftheweb2.0)tothisshortanecdote,asitpresentssomeofitscoreaspects:s t u v w x y u z{a scarcity of public funds;s t u | u w } y ~ } u } s u y z{an emotional bondwith the territory, the local community and the publicgood, which comes from projects of a civic nature;s t u u y x s z{astrengtheningofbondsinthecommunityand a higher sense of belonging towards public placeson the citizens part, with a consequent heightenedsense of respect and willingness to preserve them.Nowadays, we can nd all these elements together withan ever increasing distrust and loss of connection on thecitizens part towards local administrations. The exampleof active citizenry found in the case of the Statue ofLiberty has evolved into civic crowd-funding. This is in allrespects a form of active government, through which thecitizens decide where and how to invest money to improvecommunities and neighbourhoods. This happens thro