July 11, 2012

Project Raises over $150,000 for Park Project with Crowdfunding

It's amazing today how citizens can recognize their local diversity, culture, creativity, and innovation and run with it. While taking the steps to garner support from the community and pitch the idea to the city can be hard work, it can yield some truly awe-inspiring results.

Back in 1999, in New York City, resident in Manhattan's westside proposed renovating an abandoned rail like and turning it into a park. They were successful with the campaign and eventually construction began on the park, known as the High Line. The park opened to the public in 2009 and was quickly recognized as a cherished green space within the city. Build on an elevated railway that runs for about 16 blocks, there is elevator access and street entrances along the way.

Recently, entrepreneurs Dan Barasch, a social innovator, and James Ramsey, designer and former NASA engineer, proposed turning an unused trolley terminal beneath Delancey Street on New York City's Lower East Side into an underground park. A major part of their plan is a technology developed by Ramsey that would direct sunlight below ground via fiber optic cables, allowing plans and trees to grow in the underground space.

Recognizing the need to look for support both online and offline, project leaders utilized the crowd funding platform, Kickstarter, to get the word out about "the world's first underground park." They raised $100,000 in a week.

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