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When Money Is Short, Should Cities Crowdfund?

Priya Prakash

Cities all over are short on cash. And some are turning to crowdfunding to get public projects off the ground. From a streetcar in Kansas City to a skate spot in Portland, Oregon, sites like and Citizinvestor are making it easy for residents to raise money to fund civic projects. Marcie Sillman talks with Rodrigo Davies, a researcher at MIT’s Center for Civic Media about civic crowdfunding and its complications.

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  • Priya Prakash

    Its important that governments and city councils don't abuse civic crowdfunding to justify infrastructure budget cuts. We need to be cognisant that people's good will to fund change in neighbourhoods is not mis-appropriated by city councils who might continue to increase local taxes - but not necessarily provide better citizen services.

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      I totally agree. I do think that govt can take advantage of taxes/people's money. I would hope crowdsourcing would make this easier- but it's almost as if you'd need a website in each city for this to work! (You should work with a web developer to make this happen)!