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Since 2016, investment crowdfunding (ICF) has been revolutionizing how places get developed and companies find financing. Sometimes referred to as the "democratization of capital," ICF is the practice of raising funding through the "crowd" on web-based platforms. In return for their financial contribution to a business or real estate, investors receive a financial stake and financial return on investment.
ICF holds the potential to bring the general public into the development and community revitalization process as partners, not just participants, and helps a "sense of ownership" evolve into actual ownership. By placing their investments in development projects they support, community members are no longer bystanders or even simply participants — they essentially become the decision makers.
This edition of PAS QuickNotes explores how planners can use ICF to help enable plan implementation and result in more equitable development.
About the Author
For over 17 years Clark has worked in the urban planning and land revitalization arena across public and private sectors. Since 2013 he has been providing services through his multi-disciplinary consulting practice CIII Associates (www.ciiiassociates.com), and in 2016 started a real estate and place making equity based crowdfunding platform, Our Move (www.ourmove.com). Under CIII Associates Clark has recently completed two Brownfield Area Wide Planning projects (Redmond, OR; Hickory, NC), has supported the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the US Department of Energy (DOE) SunShot Initiative, and brownfield revitalization strategy for three properties in St. Louis, MO. Before this Clark was a senior planner for SRA International (now CSRA) working under contract with federal agencies providing planning, sustainability, and land revitalization support to local municipalities and community based organizations across the country. Key accomplishments during his time include but are not limited to leading two of the first projects funded under the Partnership for Sustainable Communities (Boston, MA; Iowa City, IA); and provided support to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) growing their Brownfield Area Wide Planning program and supporting grantees. Prior to his time with SRA he spent 9 years managing the City of Portland, Oregon Brownfield Program working extensively with other municipalities and City agencies, developers, property owners, citizens, businesses, and community based organizations to redevelop some of the city’s most challenging properties. Key accomplishments while with the City of Portland include catalyzing the redevelopment of several brownfield properties; making the program a permanent feature of the City’s structure; and creating an innovative loan fund for brownfield cleanup. He holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Development, both from Portland State University.