Kickstarter, a site based on the seductive idea of “crowdfunding” – in which consumers collectively invest in a product in order for it to become reality – has taken on a life of its own. From straightforward consumer products (like a cool watch) to creative projects (Roman Mars’ radio show) and even to large-scale Urbanism projects (including an entire riverwater pool), Kickstarter has evolved to finance ever more complex, ambitious, and risky endeavors.
But are there limits? Can you harness the purchasing power of the public to “crowdfund” anything? To, say, design/build a city?
More images of the first ever crowdfunded skyscraper, BD Bacatá, after the break…
At 66 stories tall, the mixed-use residential/commercial building, BD Bacatá will be the tallest skyscraper in Colombia, with a colossal price tag to match. However, instead of relying on one developer to finance the $240 million project, a group known as Fidi Global has pushed a different model for the skyscraper: to have Colombians fund the building themselves. After an extensive advertising campaign on billboards, radio, and TV, more than 3,000 people (see the video above) have invested in a share in the building and raised over $145 million so far.
Fidi Global has used this approach to fund clubs, hotels, malls- and now skyscrapers. If BD Bacatá proves a success, then the logical next step could be to “crowdfund” and develop not just more buildings, but our cities themselves.
Do you think we could realistically “crowdfund” our built environments? Let us know what you think in the comments below…
Story via the Atlantic Cities