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Experimenting

This section focuses on action, on carrying out ideas for change on some small scale.  Many communities are increasingly supportive of entrepreneurship and may offer small support for neighborhood-based projects.  With or without government support, many residents are forwarding their small-scale, place-based projects for change, under various labels:  tactical or guerrilla urbanists;  citizen entrepreneurs; place-makers; activists; localists; or, even civic tinkerers.

Research on neighborhood-scale change projects in localities experiencing economic transition suggests the significance of informal citizen innovation –temporary, ad hoc projects and activities that are typically generated by individuals or entities outside of formal institutions, and that are motivated by a civic or place-making intent.

However, the idea of a citizen entrepreneur or tactical urbanist presupposes equitable access of entrepreneurial possibility.  However, under resourced and marginalized populations and individuals face significant barriers in their efforts to forward positive change by starting a project or enterprise.  Indeed, too few localities and organizations work to intentionally and intensively support underrepresented populations and under resourced individuals in developing and carrying out a business or project idea.  This is a critical point.

Our project not only seeks to provide general resources for change makers, but also to call attention to the need for more broad based and intensive support for changemakers from all sections of a community, particularly those more under resourced or marginalized neighborhoods.

Ideas for how to Experiment in your Community