Mayors, City Councils Can Boost Local Citizen-Led Renewal With Help from ReCitizen
Missing 80% of revitalization resources can be tapped through inexpensive QuickLaunch program
WASHINGTON, Aug. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The new QuickLaunch program offered by ReCitizen gives mayors a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to benefit politically from successful citizen-led renewal projects, and to stimulate more of them.
QuickLaunch consists of a public lecture designed to educate and motivate local citizens, followed by a half-day workshop that shows government, non-profit, and educational leaders how to support and benefit from this powerful trend.
Three global trends are changing the face of community economic growth: 1) restorative development; 2) citizen leadership; and 3) crowd technologies. The convergence has produced the trend towards crowd-powered, citizen-led renewal.
Most local governments sit on the sidelines, either because they are unaware of this shift, they don't understand it, or they consider it a threat to their control. Smart leaders encourage citizen-led efforts, enabling them to take some credit for each success.
Storm Cunningham, CEO of ReCitizen, says, "Just as most folks use less than 20% of their brain power, so do local government typically tap only 20% of local renewal resources. ReCitizen gives them quick and easy access to the missing 80%."
Cunningham's organization, ReCitizen, has just launched a set of free tools at http://recitizen.org. With these tools, students, professionals, retirees, etc. can use their smartphones (or digital camera + computer) to document local renewable assets: natural, built, or socioeconomic.
Cunningham continued, "ReCitizen's tools can be adapted to any local situation. For instance, many distressed communities are creating land banks of abandoned properties. But this takes much time and money. And most of land banks only focus on one kind of property, such as vacant houses, brownfields, historic, etc. ReCitizen's CrowdRenewal™ (patent pending) tools help governments create a 'virtual land bank' at no cost, with citizens providing the data. The resulting Renewal Opportunity Map includes all kinds of properties, including distressed natural assets such as streams or parks, as well as local enterprises."
But CrowdRenewal doesn't stop at mapping. It's an integrated system of crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, team-building, institutional partnering (for large projects), and project management tools, all free.
Cunningham is a leading author and speaker on regeneration (see http://StormCunningham.com). His first book was The Restoration Economy. This groundbreaking 2002 work was first to document the eight sectors of restorative development that today comprise some $2 trillion annually.
His second book, ReWealth (from McGraw-Hill Professional) has been called "The bible of community revitalization and natural resource restoration." Cunningham himself has been called "The world's thought leader on community revitalization and natural resource restoration" by George Ochs, Managing Director at JP Morgan. His third book, Recivilizing, is coming in 2014.
Membership in ReCitizen—the leading worldwide advocate of citizen-led renewal—is free for citizens. Government agencies, community foundations, and other organizations sponsoring a local QuickLaunch program must first join ReCitizen as a Cooperating Institution ($250/year).
To celebrate the launch of the $9500 QuickLaunch program, ReCitizen is offering a $2000 discount until September 30, 2013.
More information: Storm Cunningham, Email, (202-684-6815).
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