Kickstarter for Neighborhoods Brings Crowdfunding's Potential to Urban Renewal

Spacehive is a London-based company that's helping community centers, parks, and parade organizers get the funding to change their communities.

As the crowdfunding bug continues to spread, the fund-raising strategy has radiated outward from Kickstarter's domain of art and video, to health expenses, to support for local business. Now a new website called Spacehive proposes a way for neighbors to fund public works projects for the betterment of their local communities.

Spacehive's goal is "to make it as easy to fund a new park or playground for your area as buying a book online." While that's a bit ambitious—no matter how great a site's user interface is, it won't negate the slow, bureaucratic process of urban planning approvals—the site does proposal a straightforward way to build awareness about a project and get it funded.

Founded by a team of six Londoners, Spacehive lets you post a description of your project (like a new playground), a promotional video, and a fund-raising goal, and then promote the project to your networks to get donations. Just like Kickstarter, you can only keep the funds if you meet your goal. Projects that have already secured funding through the website include a new community center for the village of Glyncoch, Wales and a 3-meter high model of Queen Elizabeth's head, floated along a canal to celebrate her 60th year in power. Projects in search of funding include a proposed revitalization of a decrepit East London dock.

The service targets creative people who want to improve their neighborhoods but also design professionals looking to fund their big ideas, public institutions and nonprofits with community-based missions, and businesses who see a potential marketing opportunity by investing in a local neighborhood. Ultimately, the site provides a platform for those who want to take the DIY-ethos into the public sphere. "Most of us assume we have to take what we're given when it comes to neighbourhood planning," says Spacehive. "Where do you start if you want to change things?" The answer: online, perhaps.

Image courtesy of Spacehive


Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading

Cancer is still the second leading cause of death after heart disease for both men and women. The American Cancer Society predicts that 2020 will bring almost 1.8 million new cancer cases and 600,000 cancer deaths, but there's also some good news. The American Cancer Society recently published a report in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians stating the U.S. cancer death rates experienced the largest-single year decline ever reported.

Between 2016 and 2017, cancer death rates fell by 2.2%. While cancer death rates have been steadily falling over the past three decades, it's normally by 1.5% a year. Cancer death rates have dropped by 29% since 1991, which means that there have been 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths in the past three decades than there would have been if the mortality rate had remained constant.

Keep Reading

In order to celebrate the New York Public Library's 125th anniversary, the library announced a list of the top 10 most checked out books in the library's history. The list, which took six months to compile, was determined by a team of experts who looked at the "historic checkout and circulation data" for all formats of the book. Ezra Jack Keats's "The Snow Day" tops the list, having been checked out 485,583 times through June 2019. While many children's books topped the top 10 list, the number one choice is significant because the main character of the story is black. "It's even more amazing that the top-ranked book is a book that has that element of diversity," New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx said.

Keep Reading