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Can Urban Regeneration Be Kickstarted?
As Kickstarter expands to urban interventions, Lange expresses her pessimism about its ability to fund "urbanism" rather than "gizmos." "The timeline for urban projects, the real-life approvals and the massive construction costs, are ill-suited for the Kickstarter approach. All the format can handle is a little, gizmo-like piece of the puzzle."
Lange concludes that, "If you want to fund urbanism on Kickstarter, think small. For the big picture, a park, a pool or a playing field, maybe a new social media platform will emerge, ready to walk you through the meetings and legislative hiccups, with fundraising for photocopying as well as fiber-optics."
Does that platform already exist somewhere beneath Lange's radar? Nate Berg is optimistic that it does. In response to Lange, he looks at websites such as Spacehive in the UK, and ioby in the US, that seek to export the Kickstarter crowdfunding model to attempts to improve the physical environment. "While neither of these websites might be the optimal way of building support and funding for urban projects, they each offer unique approaches that make the idea of a 'Kickstarter urbanism' a real possibility."