Bristol, Connecticut first to crowdsource large-scale place

What better to talk about on a site that’s committed to crowdsourced placemaking than an actual project committed to crowdsourced placemaking.

As of October 1st, 2010, real estate developer Renaissance Downtowns will begin a crowdsourced placemaking program to establish a vibrant downtown destination neighborhood on a 17-acre former shopping mall site in the not-so-big city of Bristol, Connecticut (pop. 61,000), 20 miles southwest of Hartford, “Renaissance intends to address the needs of the creatives by engaging this emerging market through crowdsourcing methodologies that have lead to the success of many technology offerings such as Amazon, Google and Wikipedia.” The initial reception for the project appears positive.

While it may come across as contradictory that there’s already a 3D movie rendering (see above) of what the destination could look like, it’s important to note that it’s simply to provide a sense of project scope. As you can see, the vision is to be pedestrian-oriented with an emphasis on mixed-use and public spaces. How that ends up being executed is definitely to be determined by the crowd working in partnership with the developer and the city.

While the project is yet to be named, it does have an informational website, Renaissance Downtowns at Bristol.

The initial steps of the program include:
– Define triple-bottom-line vision in crowd terms
– Define key crowd-driven product decisions
– Develop core crowd supporters
– Develop loyal crowd community, aka beta community.

If you’re interested in a behind-the-scenes look at the crowdsourced placemaking of this project, bookmark this page on the Crowdsource Placemaking Lab site. All questions about the process will be promptly answered there as long as this statement exists.

Stay tuned for details on the program in the coming weeks, especially those involving the crowd getting into it. Someday this may be seen as a model for how to build our next generation of triple-bottom-line places.