The Bryant Park Corporation has partnered with Popularise, a crowd-sourcing platform for the real estate development industry, to gather ideas for activities in the park. The partnership is Popularise’s first project in New York City.
According to Tricia Lewis, Director of Digital Media for the Bryant Park, the goal of the project is to engage the public and bring in new ideas from an “outside” perspective. So far, those ideas include a Slip N’ Slide, a mechanical bull rodeo, a giant paella festival and a Twin Peaks marathon.
“We will be looking closely at the most popular ideas, but we wouldn’t rule out other ideas that might work well and easily integrate with an existing program in the park,” said Lewis.
Popularise began as way for private developers to engage local communities to source new ideas for under-utilized spaces, but has added new types of projects as it has grown. “We have always felt that crowd-sourced place making naturally wanted to evolve outside of only the private development arena,” said Brandon Jenkins, Head of Product Development at Popularise.
The crowd-sourcing platform hopes to make private and public development processes more transparent and inclusive, changing the way neighborhoods and cities grow. “A traditional community meeting often involves five to ten individuals, but Popularise can involve thousands,” said Jenkins.
Popularise users follow project “drawing boards” and may submit ideas or vote in favor of ideas that have been submitted. In the future, Jenkins hopes Popularise may be used to crowd-source design ideas from future homeowners and renters or office space users.
For the Bryant Park Corporation, the partnership with Popularise is evocative of the non-profit’s ambitious mission to make the park into the greatest public space in the world.