Kickstarter, a successful online funding platform launched in 2009, is great for gizmos but not for urban design, Alexandra Lange writes in Design Observer. So if the website, which currently funds consumer products such as bikes and cheeses starts to dip into city planning, “urbanism would lose out to industrial design,” Lange writes. Allowing a business to help generate funding for a cool new watch or bike design makes sense, Lange writes, but when it comes to planning an urban center, it’s democracy we need, not a profit-driven company.

But while Kickstarter might not be the ideal choice for driving urbanism, its model might not be too far off.  “If you want to fund urbanism on Kickstarter, think small,” she writes. “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.”

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