Contribute > ideas > Neighborhood Micro financing/planning

Category: 
Public Works

The power of the local community can solve great problems.

This application would connect a neighborhood in order to finance public works projects. Someone would propose a project, such as adding four sidewalk ramps on a set of corners. People in the neighborhood could then commit a certain amount of money until the goal was met.

There should be some generic projects people can propose to encourage participation. Some things that come to mind: Adding sidewalk ramps to four corners, bike parking, road repaving, Adding bioswales.

The costs would obviously be higher for individual projects than if it was done for a whole area. So, larger-scale participation would be helpful for the apps success.

Outside of financing projects, this could also be used as a planning tool. Although not everyone is a city planner, people certainly are aware of the area they live in. This could encourage unique traffic solutions.

This is just an initial idea. Any ideas that would help are welcome.

Discussion
Carine Being :: July 19, 2010 - 11:15am

I like the idea of voicing ones concern and interest in the immediate infrastructure, ie the planning tool portion of this app, however I have concern about the financing portion of this idea.It's true that the people who actually live in the neighborhood have unique knowledge about what is working and what is not, what is needed and what is wasted. I love the idea of empowering residents to help shape what their neighborhood will become. The city is supposed to utilize funds to provide infrastructure uniformly, regardless of who lives where(a separate discussion could be had about how successfully that occurs). Infrastructure is a public good, not a private good and as such should be fully funded by the government and provided irregardless of resident's ability to pay for the infrastructure. Self financing produces inequitable results. Look at the history of school financing in this state and the inequitable impacts are clear. Those who are better educated, connected and financially successful will use the system more frequently and more effectively than those who are not as educated, not as affluent and not as influential, i.e. those who often most need resources will have less access to resources.