Crowdfunding regeneration: More than an alternative model of finance

Warbis, Michelle
October 2016
Journal of Urban Regeneration & Renewal;Autumn2016, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p15
Academic Journal
In early 2014, the Greater London Authority's (GLA) Regeneration Unit commissioned Future Cities Catapult to research the capacity and potential for a public sector-led web-based crowdsourcing platform. This report recommended that the Unit trial new methods of digital engagement for direct participation in regeneration. As a result, the GLA launched a pilot Mayor's Crowdfunding Programme to enable community groups to part-fund and deliver projects they deemed important in their local areas. This paper discusses this method of regeneration project delivery, considering the transformative power of the programme for local engagement in the context of current participation methods. It highlights how the programme is shaping a new role for local government in facilitating equity, outlining how crowdfunding, in this case, does not represent a retreat of the state but a repositioning of it. It notes the challenges associated with this, before sharing difficulties encountered in the GLA's process and lessons for long-term sustainability of facilitating crowdfunded and community-led regeneration. The programme is discussed with specific reference to two successful projects from round two of the pilot: a pop-up market, TWIST on Station Rise; and a linear park, Peckham Coal Line.


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