Athlyn Cathcart-Keays reports on the growing use of crowdfunding for neighborhood regeneration—and fun stuff like swimming in the Thames—in London, UK:
Architect Chris Romer-Lee had a wild idea: Why not turn part of the River Thames into a swimming pool?
To see if the “Thames Baths” could work, Romer-Lee and his firm, Studio Octopi, did what many creative people with an idea have done in recent years: They launched a campaign on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It was a rapid success. In less than a month, they raised more than £140,000, mostly in small donations. The money helped to pay for a pre-planning study.
The London city government has formed a “regeneration team” to help coordinate and encourage crowdfunding initiatives.
Crowdfunding for neighborhood improvement isn’t just for the British; the American nonprofit ioby sprung up from a partnership of three Yalies interested in localized sustainability work has raised over $2.3 million and funded 674 projects across the U.S., according to their website.
Read more about crowdfunding in London at Citiscope here.
Read more about ioby’s crowdfunding projects in the US here.
Contributor: Benjamin Peterson, Pepperdine School of Public Policy alumnus, MPP ’16.