Plymouth in the top 10 for Engaged Cities Award


Plymouth has been recognised for its work alongside residents to create and implement solutions that improve lives and communities

Its groundbreaking crowdfunding ‘City Change Fund’ has helped Plymouth become one of 10 cities to reach the finals for the Cities of Service Engaged Cities Award.

Over 100 cities submitted bids for the award which has a $100,000 prize. Plymouth and London were the only two European cities to make the shortlist.

The award, underwritten by Bloomberg Philanthropies, highlights the ways that cities are shaping the future with residents and allows cities around the world to learn best practices and implement similar solutions in their own cities.

The shortlisting follows on from the project’s recent triumph when it was awarded the highest accolade given the Royal Town Planning Institute – the Silver Jubilee Cup.

The City Change Fund uses Crowdfund Plymouth to distribute funds raised by developments through the Community Infrastructure Levy. Since 2015, the Council pledged over £250,000 on 60 projects with the Crowdfund Plymouth platform, raising over £1.5 million in the city.

Projects include many from social enterprises delivering projects that are close to local peoples’ hearts. Campaigns have included improving local green space, such as Collings Park Trust to a sonic art silent disco at Devil’s Point.

The Council uses the Crowdfunder website to distribute the ‘neighbourhood proportion’ and pledges up to 50 per cent of a project’s costs (up to a maximum of £20,000), if they met the legislative and Council’s criteria and priorities.

Councillor Chris Penberthy, Cabinet Member for Housing and Cooperative Development said: “This means a lot.

“What we set up in Plymouth to make a huge difference to our residents is making people sit up and take notice around the world.

“The City Change Fund has helped us reconnect to communities and city groups in a way we never thought possible. It’s people power and helping our residents make some incredible events and ideas happen – through contributions made by developers.

Myung J. Lee, Cities of Service Executive Director. “The 10 finalist cities show the power of working alongside their residents to improve lives and provide a model for others to follow.”

Cities of Service received more than 100 applications from cities in the Americas and Europe. With help from an esteemed group of experts, Cities of Service chose 10 finalists, whose solutions achieved impact by engaging citizens in variety of ways including: impact volunteering, participatory design, crowdsourcing, and citizen-sourced data.

The Engaged Cities Award was open to cities with populations of 30,000+ in the Americas and Europe. Cities of Service will choose up to three winning cities and award a total of $200,000. Winners will be announced at CityLab in October 2019.

For more information visit: engagedcitiesaward.org.