Crowdsourcing is a portmanteau of the words crowd and outsourcing and refers to the process of obtaining funding, ideas or services from a large group of people (a crowd), rather than from traditional suppliers. Self-selected volunteers or part-time workers work together to collaboratively achieve a common goal.
The High Line Project in New York is an inspiring example of how powerful crowdsourcing can be. An initiative launched by members of the local community led to a closed down rail line being transformed into a green inner-city oasis. Two residents of the rail (or high) line neighbourhood founded the Friends of the High Line group, to advocate for the reuse of the high line and its transformation into an urban park. The group initiated a study to prove that the transformation of the high line into a public space was economically rational, and created a momentum large enough to raise awareness within state government.
Today the high line park is one of New York’s key attractions and more than 450 public programs and community activities are held in the park yearly. The park is owned by the city of New York, and maintained and operated collaboratively with the Friends of the High Line. Friends of the High Line raises 98% of the High Line’s annual budget.
To find out more about the High Line Project, have a look at the Friends of the Highline website (http://www.thehighline.org).
So, how can crowdsourcing green the pipeline? There are a number of ways for members of the community to have a say and take ownership of the project:
- We’ve set up an online platform (http://greeningthepipeline.com.au) on which you can share your ideas and thoughts on the future of the pipeline. We did that because we want to understand your preferences regarding the redevelopment of the Main Outer Sewer reserve, and your feedback will determine what the new site will look like.
- We’ve founded the Friends of the Pipeline group which is open to all members of the community. The group is a platform for likeminded locals who will drive the project forward and make major decisions collaboratively with the other stakeholders involved in the project.
- We will run a series of face-to-face community consultation events during which we invite you to share your ideas in collaborative workshops with other members of the community.
So, get involved and make this project your own. Together we can Green the Pipeline!