DIY - Urbanism: A development strategy for Almere Oosterwold, titled 'Estate for Initiatives' is a revolution in Dutch urban planning as it steps away from governmental dictate and invites organic urban growth in which initiatives are stimulated and inhabitants can create their own neighbourhoods including public green, urban agriculture and roads."
Crowdfunding is a term applied to a collective cooperation through a network of people to get funding or other resources, often using the Internet as the mean to achieve it.
It’s been applied to different cases: new artists starting their careers, product design, private projects that contribute to a community… and even to urban planning and design.
Much has been written lately about Kickstarter Urban Projects such as the famous case of the Lowline in New York City, The + Pool in the same city or the recent project “De Luchtsingel” in Rotterdam, the bridge chosen by popular vote to be as part of the activities of the 5th IABR.
I consider it a very interesting concept; though, like everything in Urbanism (and as can be seen in the other topics covered in this blog) is a matter of scale.
If we apply the idea literally it would mean to oversimplify the different nature of urban projects, which is why I agree with what Alexandra Lange exposed in his article Aganist Kickstarter Urbanism when she speaks about the Lowline project in NYC.
A project of its kind, explained through some attrractive render to get the attention of the people who is actually funding the study and fabrication of the prototype of a skylight to be (if it is successful and pass then all the obstacles of the bureaucratic process) applied in an underground park, should not use the crowdfunding model. Just because the relationship between funder and product should be much more direct.
Like the case of “De Luchtsingel” in Rotterdam. A project with a brilliant publicity campaign, appealing images and able to attract enough people to win the vote that took place in the city between various projects. An urban project (that solves the connection between different parts of the city separated by barriers) following the concept of crowdfunding.
In this case the funding is to purchase one or more of the wood elements used to build the bridge, engraving your name on it. It may seem anecdotic, but to establish this link between the person and the physical object, and the fact of engraving the names of the project funders in the project itself enables the same strategy to become much more compelling and well applied in the previous project. And it does it through the simplicity and direct linking between citizen and city.
If we start to explore other ways of applying the concept then appear models that can become really applicable to larger projects, which, as well as individuals, institutions must be involved.
For example, the city of Bristol (USA) is carrying out the project Bristolrising!, which sets out a number of different scale urban ideas and ask the citizens; social network style, to vote. Vote that determines their preferences and could lead to collaboration in the decisions to take in terms of budgets and the spending of public money.
As I said before, I consider essential the coexistence and mutual involvement between institutions and citizens to produce an evolution of the city. And such platforms can be very useful as communication tool and vehicle for expressing ideas and preferences.
Again, we have the resources even enough to cover the complexity of urban projects and urban processes, we must now find ways to use them and apply to every case we face in making decisions about the city.
Marchando una historia redonda de código abierto. Una plataforma de crowd funding (la brasileña catarse.me) abre su código. Un grupo de personas de otro país, Chile para ser más exactos, decide aprovechar el trabajo de programación del equipo de Catarse. Después de entrar en contacto con ellos, de retocar algunas parte del código informático y de encajar su identidad visual, lanzan otra plataforma: urbank.it . La plataforma comparte código, funcionamiento y esencia filosófica: incentivar la financiación colectiva. Los proyectos de Catarse, que presume de ser la primera plataforma de crowd funding de código abierto, son muy variopintos, aunque priman los culturales. Urbank.it se ha centrado en proyectos para mejorar colectivamente entornos urbanos. Y ahí está la explosión: la posibilidad de reusar el código y adaptarlo a diferentes necesidades.
El vídeo que encabeza esta entrada pertenece al proyecto Ágora Móvil, que busca financiación dentro de Urbank.it. Ágora Móvil es un escenario itinerante que se instalará afuera de la Estación Mapocho de Santiago de Chile en la próxima Bienal de Arquitectura 2012 que arranca el próximo 8 de diciembre. El Ágora Móvil, una iniciativa del colectivo Ciudad Emergente, es “un espacio para debatir, informar y conectar a la ciudadanía con tomadores de decisión”. Pretende, entre otras cosas, dar “a conocer casos de éxito acerca de ciudadanos organizados que están mejorando sus barrios con acciones creativas, sustentables e inclusivas”.
Me encanta la iniciativa y su eslogan, Transforma barrios en superbarrios. Su frase de presentación también me parece acertada: ”Vale la pena Financia + activa proyectos de una calle / manzana / ciudad y forma parte de una micro-revolución urbana. Muévete por transformar barrios en lugares inspiradores”. ¿Tiene futuro el crowd funding en el espacio urbano? ¿Es compatible o incompatible con la labor de las instituciones? En este blog, en el post ¿Crowd funding para ciudades?, ya meditábamos sobre ello. Existe una crítica legítima, sí. En el texto Contra el urbanismo kickstarter hay argumentos de sobra contra procesos de crowd funding que tienden a ser espectáculo, demasiado grandes y poco participativos. Sin embargo, creo que el potencial de las multitudes conectadas en el espacio urbano es grandísimo. Ya existen otros proyectos parecidos a Urbank.it, como SpaceHive. Y sin lugar a dudas, que es un camino que empezará a estar transitado. ¿Para cuándo un proyecto similar en España, un país donde el urbanismo P2P, participativo, de código abierto, está explotando en centenares de proyectos?
In computer science, the term “peer-to-peer” refers to a network formed by a series of nodes that behave as equal to each other, acting both as clients and servers for the other network nodes, allowing direct exchange of information.
In Urbanism, the application of this term has led to a movement that draws on the principles of open source and is defined in 5 points:
1. The human being has the right to choose the built environment in which to live.
2. All citizens should have access to information regarding their environment in order to engage in processes of decision making.
3. Users should participate in all levels of co-design and construction of their city.
4. P2P Urbanism practitioners are committed to spreading knowledge about open source technologies and theories.
5. The owners of the built environment should be able to implement the development of knowledge, skills and practices on it.
This is a theoretical movement, emerged from informal settlements and self-constructed architecture, considering these processes as beneficial for the evolution of the urban environment and returning to the user the participation and the decision making power that was lost.
It tries to accommodate the different practices that are currently appearing in the urban discipline, some of which I have spoken here before, as the tactical urbanism, the spontaneous city or crowdfunding, among others.
All of them based on a horizontal urbanism, bottom-up projects, with the common feature of requiring the commitment and participation of citizens involved in the process.
I share the point of view and principles of the movement, although I find it lacking in strength to be considered the glue of the theory that can be drawn from all those urban practices.
Was it necessary to add another term to the list? In my opinion is a bit contradictory to add a term that claims the equality of elements in a network and want to be the container of all the others, without actually contributing with something by itself.
It misses direct practical application, making it dissociated from the real world, something that is precisely the key of a participatory process. And in some points is falling into the utopia of the theoretical movements, as is visible in its principles.
It talks about the formalization of the built environment made by the users, interesting but quite utopic, when the need would be, under my point of view, re-define the role of every part in an urban process, from the Politic, to the Designer, to the Users. Create a network is the way, but peer to peer is not the best way to define it.
I think it’s important the fact of trying to create a common bond between the different movements that are tracing the change currently happening in the urban discipline, but I think the way might not be through a term like this.
We're using Spacehive to create a wild garden that will give local kids an understanding of how nature works - from food to wildlife systems. It will help us prove that inner-city kids don't have to grow up disengaged with nature. Kam-Lyn Chak, Project Promoter, Stockwell Urban Oasis
THE SPECIFICS GOOD Maker wants to know how you will creatively engage others in the civic life of your community by promoting idea-sharing, collaboration and participation. Maybe you’ll revive a forgotten city tradition? Advocate for prettier public spaces? Organize a voter registration drive? Host a town hall meeting on local arts funding? We’re supporting this month’s 30-Day Challenge on civic involvement by offering a $500 grant to fund the best idea. Whether you’re a hometown hero or the new kid on the block, we believe you have what it takes to stir your fellow citizens to action.
Submissions for the GOOD Citizenship challenge are open from February 1-22 (noon Pacific Time). Voting will be open from February 22-29, so get ready to rally your networks behind your project.
Include a photo or video that represents your idea. For example: a logo, a photo related to your idea, or an inspirational video. Photos should be in JPG, PNG, or GIF format, at least 572 × 346 pixels and no larger than 10MB. Write at least 3-5 sentences that explain how the $500 award will enable you to implement your idea. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. RULES & REGULATIONS This Challenge is open for submissions from February 1 to February 22. Submitted projects must be able to be activated with $500. Let us know how you’re going to put this money to work! Projects will be featured on this page and public voting will be open from February 22 to February 29. The project with the most votes will receive $500 from the GOOD Fund. Please note, applications must not involve political advocacy – acts and intentions to advance a particular political party, candidate or to support lobbying for any particular party, candidate and/or cause, or to expand membership or to encourage membership for a particular political party, candidate or lobbying effort. Read all the rules.