The City of Hilo, Hawaii, pop. 43,000, launched a formal crowdsourced placemaking program in November, 2011 at ourdowntownhilo.com using the Bubbly visual crowdsourcing platform. Public support has been very positive, with over 400 members to date. Here’s how they applied crowdsourced placemaking from a government approach:
- Sponsored by the city planning department, the staff understands that it’s the private sector that does the actual placemaking when it comes to buildings, but that the public sector sets the rules when it comes to public places, which are often critical to the success of buildings. In addition, ideas that reach a certain level of popularity that are private sector oriented, such as a coffeehouse or a mixed-use building, are then connected to a private sector entity that’s willing to work with the crowd, given the benefit of having a market already assembled for them.
- The City of Hilo already went through an extensive visioning process to create a plan on how to essentially be more triple-bottom-line (economically, socially, environmentally) sustainable and prosperous by 2025. So it wasn’t difficult to require that all ideas be triple bottom line to comply with the plan.
- Why did the City of Hilo actually make the leap ahead of everyone else in what may very well be the standard way we plan and develop places in the future? It takes one person willing to be a pioneer, willing to take a risk, in a position of enough authority to make it happen, and that person was city planner Susan Gagorik.
- Fall 2011: ourdowntownhilo.com site launches.
- July 19, 2012: EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025 VisionKeepers celebrates top five projects from ourdowntownhilo.com community.