Kickstarter campaign for city design method cards

Photo: Andy Boenau, Speakeasy Media
Photo: Andy Boenau, Speakeasy Media

GreaterPlaces is holding a fundraiser for city design method cards and a mobile app that “brings all aspects of city design together in one resource designed for everyone.”

The campaign is asking for $38,000 in support.

Video pitch:

Q&A with GreaterPlaces co-founder Lisa Nisenson:

Why cards instead of a book?

Cards are portable bursts of information that can be stacked, organized, and grouped in many ways to tell a story (especially important for placemaking) by anyone involved in the design process. A book’s order of fixed chapters is set by the writers and editors.

Also, decks of cards are easily updatable (think: expansion packs), can spark conversations, and change the dynamics of engagement – instead of a lecture or slideshow, cards invite one-on-one interactions and conversations.

What are the decks?

We are planning 12-15 decks in the Kickstarter run (though we can add as many as we need to the app). We will cover the basics like City Design 101, Street Design and Economic Development as well as cutting edge topics like Civic Technology, Resilience and Green Infrastructure. Send ideas to @CityDesignCards you’d like to see.

Besides being cards, how is this really different than existing tools?

The short answer is outreach and technology! The Method Cards provide an opportunity for meeting people where they are on the learning curve, letting people take deeper dives into information at their own pace, and easily share their findings. The topics being included are not only fed into the mobile app but incorporate the myriad types of civic technology emerging but not yet efficiently harnessed. The tech is not for tech’s sake, but rather how it fits in to present, link and organize material.

Who is your audience?

Everyone involved in shaping communities: professionals (planning, engineering, architecture, economic development, etc.), elected officials, citizen leaders, non-profits, academia, philanthropic groups, writers, and more.

How is this financially sustainable?

This is a marketplace (advertising) for small and medium priced firms – for far less than print/digital/trade show packages that are thousands of dollars. We have worked with dozens of firms to shape this new platform for branding, storytelling, and marketing.

Over time, we are looking at emerging technology for cities like virtual reality, the Internet of Things and useful data sets our small consulting business – offering custom card decks as a way to help cities plan and govern using tech with a personal touch.

Support the campaign.

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.