Community Capital in Action: New Financial Models for Resilient Cities

In the past decade, with the economic crisis and the transformation of welfare societies, NGOs, community organisations and civic developers – City Makers – established some of the most important services and spaces in formerly vacant buildings, underused areas and neglected neighborhoods. Consolidating their presence in the regenerated spaces, these initiatives are increasingly looking into the power of the local community, the dispersed crowd and new financial actors to invest in their activities.

Community capital
A year ago, the cultural centre La Casa Invisible collected over 20.000 euros for the partial renovation of the building including the installation of fire doors and electric equipments to assure the safety of their revitalized 19th century building in the centre of Málaga. A few months later, East London’s Shuffle Festival, operating in a cemetery park at Mile End, collected 60.000 pounds for the renovation and community use of The Lodge, an abandoned building at the corner of the cemetery. In order to implement their campaigns, both initiatives used the online platforms Goteo and Spacehive that specialize in the financing of specific community projects. The fact that many of the hundreds of projects supported by civic crowdfunding platforms are community spaces, underlines two phenomena: the void left behind by a state that gradually withdrew from certain community services, and the urban impact of community capital created through the aggregation of individual resources.

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