How do you crowdsource the evolution of a retail district?

This is a question I’m often asked – how can crowdsourcing help develop and/or revitalize a commercial district, especially a natural cultural district?

It starts with preparation, understanding crowdsourcing as a solution to a ‘cloud problem’, and recognizing the importance of third places, scenes and events. Read more about their roles here.

The first action step involves establishing a creative community, which will then crowdsource the scene for the district, such as as arts and entertainment, fashion, music, high-tech, multimedia, green/triple bottom line businesses…

The second step results in having the group, now known as a beta community, identify ten third places that they feel are both missing/needed and necessary to establish the scene. This is followed by identifying VIBEs to run each of these businesses, and crowdsourcing a loyal customer base to ensure success from opening day.

The third step has the group crowdsourcing events at both the business and district scale that attract that critical mass of people essential to ongoing economic and cultural prosperity, filling the venues and establishing not only a scene, but a community and a heritage.

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