Conceived in Finland, Brickstarter encourages citizens to take civic projects into their own hands, rather than waiting for governments to pick them up. Like the site it is modelled and named after, Brickstarter invites anyone to upload details of a project that seeks to benefit the local society, the amount of money needed to get it underway, and updates on progress once it begins to turn from proposal to reality. Those visiting the site can search for the projects nearest them, vote for or invest in the ones they like, or arrange to volunteer their time or attend a future meeting. With the slogan ‘Yes, in my backyard!’, the site aims to foster discussion and participation in community improvements, providing a platform for residents to suggest what they would like to change in their area.
It’s not a substitute for public projects funded by governments that are democratically accountable, but it is an interesting complement. You can check out Brickstarter here.