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Creative Urban Budget Solution of the Day: Crowdfunding City Programs

Chicago is trying to raise $480,000 for a youth basketball league.

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City of Chicago

Is this the future of city budgeting?

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is looking to expand the city's basketball league for at-risk youth. But instead of funding "Windy City Hoops" through raised taxes or a rejiggered budget, Emanuel is crowdsourcing the project, complete with a page on IndieGoGo. The city hopes to add 3,200 spots at 10 parks across the city. With 58 days to go, they've raised $30,260 of their $480,000 goal.

The city sees the basketball league as a way to fight youth violence. According to their IndieGoGo page:

Basketball programming has a proven impact on providing youth with alternatives to drugs, gangs, and violence, and the $480K raised on this page will go toward funding a year-round basketball league hosted by the Park District on Friday and Saturday nights in targeted communities across the city.

Here's a video explaining a bit more:

About the Author

  • Amanda Erickson is a former senior associate editor at CityLab.