7. Match public space maintenance and programming crowdfunding efforts  set up by local organizations.

Funding to manage and maintain the public realm is limited for most commercial districts outside of Manhattan. Public space management and programming, core services for many BIDs, are incredibly expensive endeavors (even more so for neighborhoods without an established BID) and require significant City support through funding.

︎ A User Experience
︎ B Long-Term Coordination
︎ C Inclusive Design
︎ D Collaboration and Communication
︎ E Support commerce and entrepreneurship

︎ Process / Regulatory Framework
︎ Funding
︎ Technical Assistance

“We had no structure, no organizational BID, no paid salaried person to do what we do on a shoestring.”
Friends of Diversity Plaza

HOW TO IMPLEMENT Building on the Department of Small Business Services’ suite of financial assistance, the Agency should consider establishing a crowdgranting” program that matches CBOs’ crowdfunding goals with City grants.

The public realm maintenance and programming activities matched through the “crowdgranting” program should be focused on geographic “areas of need” as identified by the City’s “Public Realm Working Group” (see earlier recommendation). Clear parameters for the eligible kinds of public spaces (e.g. Open Streets, sidewalks, plazas, parklets, etc.) and eligible activities (e.g. cultural programs/events, public art installations, street furnishings, etc.) should also be established and distinct from spaces and activities already being serviced by the City and its partners (e.g. the City Cleanup Corps, NY Horticultural Society, etc.).

Case Study ︎︎︎  Case Study ︎︎︎  Case Study ︎︎︎  

︎ MassDevelopment

Commonwealth Places


In partnership with the crowdfunding platform Patronicity, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ MassDevelopment created Commonwealth Places, a crowdfunding challenge that encouraged community organizations to raise funds locally to support a range of economic revitalization and placemaking activations. Every crowdfunded goal met on the Patronicity platform was then matched by MassDevelopment through a grant (of up to $50,000) funded in part by Barr Foundation. Eligible projects focused on low- and moderate-income communities across Massachusetts.

Click here to see the example: https://www.patronicity.com/commonwealthplaces

Commercial districts in underserved neighborhoods.