Crowdfunding is a rapidly growing funding model that has recently expanded as a way to support urban improvement projects. A number of platforms promote citizen-designed civic projects to help them raise small amounts of money from many donors. Parks, gardens, and other urban beautification initiatives are some of the most common projects funded on these platforms, though several projects show the potential for crowdfunding as a means to fund much larger initiatives. In Rotterdam, Netherlands, citizens have used crowdfunding to fund a wooden footbridge that aims to be a catalyst for economic development in the region. In Glyncoch, Wales, citizens donated a total of £792,021 (US$ 1.31 million) for a multi-purpose community center.
How can city governments utilize the potential for civic crowdfunding? More than 170 cities have already signed up to use Citizinvestor.com, a crowdfunding platform that raises money for public projects. Recently launched Citizinvestor Connect will allow cities to go further by creating their own platforms. This will allow cities to source project ideas from citizens, who can use the platform to raise money for an initiative that the government agrees to help implement.