Enabling City

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* Book: Chiara Camponeschi. The Enabling City.

URL = http://enablingcity.com/

Description

Beth Buczynski:

“principles of crowdfunding can be applied to human capital as well as traditional funding to catalyze the progressive policies and infrastructure that make cities more inclusive and sustainable.

How do you corral raw energy into practical actions? How does one set the framework for a collaborative process through which citizens can be directly involved in shaping their environment?

Published under a Creative Commons license, The Enabling City is a toolkit that empowers cities governments and community leaders to do just that.

The result of a graduate project, Camponeschi hopes the book will take on a life of its own as a platform for social innovation, urban sustainability, and participatory governance. Using its plethora of examples as a guide, community members can learn how to restake their claim in the larger processes that impact their daily lives.

She writes:

- Today, I am fascinated by the world of creative communities because, to my eyes, it represents an antidote to the widespread erosion of local practices and cultures, and is also an inventive and timely way of tackling increasingly interconnected social issues. What is even more remarkable is the democratic and grassroots level in which communal change is achieved — through dialogue, openness, collaboration, and the rediscovery of the everyday.

Unlike other crowdfunding platforms, which focus on funding individual projects that can be caused-based or not, The Enabling City advocates "place-based creative problem-solving" to transform cities into holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and use everyday experiences to affect change.

The toolkit helps readers to imagine and redefine the characteristincs of the city of the future, including a bottom-up approach to leadership, resource sharing, and the use of commons-based production.

But for Camponeschi, coming up with a finished "product" is far less important than the community that crowdfunding helps to form around a common issue or cause.

"In the civic sector, crowdfunding often emerges around a self-selected community," said Camponeschi. "Reputation is important in both a physical and virtual sense. Sometimes, even projects that aren’t completed can contribute to the common knowledge on a subject." (http://www.shareable.net/blog/the-enabling-city-crowdfunding-urban-livability)

Discussion

Chiara Camponeschi:

“We know that markets are no longer the only sources of innovation, and that citizens are capable of more than just voting during election time.We have entered an era where interactive technologies and a renewed idea of citizenship are enabling us to experiment with alternative notions of sustainability and to share knowledge in increasingly dynamic ways. We now see artists working alongside policy makers, policy makers collaborating with citizens, and citizens helping cities diagnose their problems more accurately.

What emerges, then, is a community where the local and global are balanced and mediated by the city at large, and where local resources and know-how are given wider legitimacy as meaningful problem-solving tools in the quest for urban and cultural sustainability. Here, innovation is intended as a catalyst for social change — a collaborative process through which citizens can be directly involved in shaping the way a project, policy, or service is created and delivered. A shift from control to enablement turns cities into platforms for community empowerment — holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and draw from their everyday experiences to affect change.

So be surprised by how walks have the power to make neighbourhoods more vibrant, and how art can be used to convert dull city intersections into safe community spaces. Learn how creative interventions can unleash spaces for reflection and participation, and witness how online resources can lead to offline collaboration and resource-sharing. See how the values of Web 2.0 translate into the birth of the open government and open data movement, and what a holistic approach to financing can bring to local communities and cities alike. This is what place-based creative problem solving looks like in action. This is the power of the everyday. “ (http://enablingcity.com/about)


More Information

See also: Enabling Suburbs