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Adi is a social business blogger and community manager that writes for sites such as Social Business News and Social Media Today. Away from the computer he enjoys cycling, particularly in the Alpes. Adi is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 1290 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Can you crowdsource a city?

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Crowdfunding has really taken off over the past year, with the likes of Kickstarter building on the work done by the microfinance industry to create a substantial alternative to more traditional funding models.

By far the most ambitious crowdfunding project I’ve come across is taking place in the city of Bogota in Columbia.  The city is rapidly growing, and most of this growth has been outwards, with all of the traffic and pollution problems that expanding the sprawl brings with it.

An alternative is to build upwards, but of course raising the capital to fund such grand projects is notoriously difficult, not least in the current environment.  This is where the crowd come in.  Rodrigo Nino is CEO of Prodigy Network, an organisation that aim to crowdfund real estate projects in the developming world.

It’s a bit like a real estate investment trust except that you can choose the property developments you wish to invest in.  One such project is seeing residents in an area of Bogota applying crowdfunding to construct a skyscraper.  It’s a marked shift from the notion that crowdfunding can only power relatively small projects.

Below you can see Nino talking at the PSFK Conference about the project.