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Cities Crowdsourcing for Community Revitalization

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Cities around the world are beginning to see benefits from crowdsourcing campaigns and it is going to be interesting to see how this further develops in the future.

A recent Mashable article on the crowdsourcing topic highlighted [URL="http://mashable.com/2011/07/20/crowdsourcing-city-tech/"]3 cities' crowdsourcing campaigns for improvement[/URL].

Quotes from the article:

1. One city that is seeing the power of collective community input is Bristol, Connecticut. The developer of a vacant 17-acre former shopping mall site, Renaissance Downtowns LLC, turned to a crowdsourcing consultancy — Cooltown Beta Communities — to roll out a “crowdsourced placemaking” campaign. The initiative — dubbed Bristol Rising — included an open call to people who work or live within an hour of Bristol to be part of defining and deciding what would be built on the 17 acres. The process empowered residents to suggest and vote on ideas that would then be presented to the City Council for approval.

2. While gearing up for its 50th anniversary, the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham held small-group meetings and one-on-one conversations in 2009 and 2010. From those exchanges, they learned Birmingham residents were interested in a “cool, vibrant city center.” The foundation then implemented an online contest called Prize2theFuture (P2F) to leverage Internet technology and source creative ideas for a city development project.

3. Councilmember Pete Constant of District 1 in San Jose, California challenged his staff to come up with an app that would be useful in their day-to-day work, which led to an idea for an app that would allow residents to report non-emergency problems in their district. Today the San Jose Mobile City Hall mobile app acts as a constituent outreach portal and is available for free download for iPhone, Android, Blackberry and Windows. When residents launch the app, they can take a photograph of anything from litter to code violations to other kinds of neighborhood blight. They then choose a classification, add notes and the location of the complaint is tagged via the phone’s GPS.

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