billboard urbanism

Delegating Resiliency [Empowering Park Networks with Smart “Neighborhood” Tokens]

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Parks Are Valuable


Parks are among the most valued features of New York City neighborhoods.They represent a powerful (and modest) green thread used to tie different places together. We treasure them culturally, but for some reason they are abused financially.

These green gathering grounds all too often lack funding, struggle for proper preservation and the financial resources necessary to keep on living. Parks also come in all shapes and sizes. In NYC alone, the smallest park is 160 square meters while the largest is 2,765 acres. This diversity makes it exceedingly difficult to come up with a comprehensive plan designed to support shapes and sizes simultaneously.

So what can be done? Here are some thoughts on how Steem’s crypto-ecosystem may one day transfer over into the built environment.

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A Small Test with a Focus on Big Answers


Last year, Steem Park offered a modest glimpse into what might one day become a new normal. This was a park installation in Brooklyn inside the historic Herbert Von King Park. The installation served as a landmark for a digital community (global) and an asset for a neighborhood in need (local).

Steem is an incredibly powerful financial and communicative infrastructure that could transform the way we support not just 1 park, but an entire network of parks. With the upcoming Smart Media Token protocol, neighborhoods will be able to adopt their own tokens and possibly even airdrop influence according to geography. By that I mean, a series of Oracles (a feature of these new blockchain rules) would be able to liaison the distribution of tokens according to who is actually a “user” of the park in real life. This local distribution could drive responsible decision-making when it comes to park preservation, new programs or development.

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“Smart Neighborhood Tokens”


Even further. What if each park adopted a variation of the same Steem-Powered token? Could a token system powered by Steem help to mediate not just healthy growth and preservation of our cities’ most prized public spaces… but also save them from disaster?

In 2013 (and the years that followed) Superstorm Sandy cost the East Coast approximately $65 billion dollars in damages. New York City accounted for $19 billion of those damages. Some of NYC’s largest parks are along the coast line and represent the first line of defense when it comes to hurricanes and other storms that threaten the city. With Superstorm Sandy much of the parks in low lying and coastal areas were damaged (or totaled) but parks further north or at higher inland elevations remained untouched.


NYC Hurricane Evacuation Zones – source. / Brooklyn after Superstorm Sandy – source / Map of Park Accessibility – source.

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What if “safe” parks could delegate their Smart Neighborhood Tokens to parks in need. In this case; what if the Central Park Conservancy (a park that would likely carry the largest number of these tokens) delegated 2-years of support to the Battery Park Conservancy to help them assign resources to aid restoration efforts. The same strategy could go for the smaller parks without conservancies or non-profits to protect them. This smart park network wouldn’t need to wait for the slow and politicized responses of our Federal Government. Resources could be allocated immediately to both prepare and act to restore the park network to normal.

Looking ahead, the chemistry of a blockchain like Steem could be used for much more than online media, but for empowering the real-life fabric of our cities.


This post was authored by @voronoi.
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