Category Archives: Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Memphis is on the cusp of building the most innovative bicycle infrastructure in the United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Public Fundraising Campaign Launched to Complete Build of Hampline

Memphis is on the cusp of building the most innovative bicycle infrastructure in the United States. Broad Avenue Arts District and Livable Memphis launch public campaign to complete required funding.

Pat Brown
Broad Avenue Arts District

Sarah Newstok
Livable Memphis Funding Coordinator

Sara Studdard

Memphis, Tennessee (October 14, 2013). Recognizing the growing interest for bicycling in Memphis, a public fundraising campaign has been launched to close the gap in funding required to provide a safe route for bicycle riders to go between Overton Park and Shelby Farms Greenline.

Coupled with the launch of the fundraising campaign is the announcement of the permanent name for the connector – “The Hampline.” The name was chosen to honor the nickname longer-term residents of the Binghampton community use when referencing their neighborhood. The Hampline is located in the center of the Binghampton community.

Once completed, The Hampline will be the most innovative bicycle infrastructure project to occur within the United States. New York City has a few similar cycle tracks, as does Montreal and Vancouver, B.C., but The Hampline will be the gold standard for other cities to follow.

The goal of the campaign is to raise $75,000 from the public. The remaining funds required to begin the build (approximately $175,000) will be raised via private contributions and foundations.

The public campaign will utilize ioby, a crowd-resourcing platform for citizen-led neighborhood projects. ioby’s platform is similar to Kickstarter, but is specifically for grassroots-based civic projects. ioby fondly stands for “In Our Backyards.” Those interested in contributing to the campaign may visit for more information. Any size donation is greatly appreciated. For the project to stay on schedule and the build to be completed, funding must be secured by November 23.

Since ioby focuses on community-led, neighbor-funded projects, the planning team felt it was an ideal fit to close the funding gap. The project to create a bicycle connector linking Overton Park and the Greenline was launched in 2010 during Broad Avenue’s “New Face for an Old Broad” event. The event showcased the power of grassroots efforts to revitalize a neighborhood and the positive impact reconfiguring streets to support all methods of transportation can have in improving livability and neighborhood redevelopment.

The Hampline is designed to be a cycle track designed for all levels of bicyclists. It will showcase best practices with regards to protected cycle tracks, considered best-in-class design for green lanes (protected bicycle lanes). This design provides greater safety for bike riders because it is physically separated from automobile traffic by a physical barrier. The project, which incorporates leading standards for on-road cycle track design, signalization, and storm water engineering, was designed and engineered by pioneers in the field (Fuss & O’Neill, Inc., Alta Planning and Design, and the GreenLane Project) in partnership with the City of Memphis Engineering. Livable Memphis and Broad Avenue Arts District provided project leadership.

The total cost for the project is estimated at $4.5 million, which includes construction ($2.6m), planning and design ($600k), sidewalk accessibility improvements ($500k) and art enhancements ($800k). To date, over $1.2m has been raised privately via foundations and grants to fund the initial phases of the project. The City of Memphis secured funding for the majority of the build via Congestion Mitigation Grant Air Quality funding.

In addition to showcasing engineering innovation with the street design, the Hampline will feature two miles of public art murals and sculptures, an amphitheater and numerous art galleries, this bicycle and walking track is located in the Binghampton Community (“The Hamp”) and links Overton Park and the Shelby Farms Greenline via a state of the art, two-way protected cycle track.

Additional contacts and information:

To make a contribution:
For campaign updates: or

ioby – contact Erin Barnes, Co-Founder, 917-464-4515 x2,
ioby’s mission is to deepen civic engagement in cities by connecting individuals directly to community-led, neighbor-funded projects in their neighborhoods.

Broad Avenue Arts District
The Broad Avenue Arts District is located in Memphis along historic Broad Avenue between Hollywood Street and the L&N Railroad track. Recognized as Memphis’ second arts district by the Memphis City Council in 2009, the business owners, property owners and residents have worked together to activate all public spaces and store fronts along Broad Avenue. Key partners are the Binghampton Development Corporation, Mayor’s Innovation Delivery Team and Community LIFT. Their efforts have achieved great progress in revitalizing the Binghampton community. To date, more than $20 million in private reinvestment has occurred in the form of new business openings and property renovations. In addition, the District recently was awarded ArtPlace America and National Endowment of the Arts grants to support the development of creative placemaking and public art adjacent to The Hampline.

Livable Memphis supports the development and redevelopment of healthy, vibrant and economically sustainable communities throughout Memphis. It is a coalition of active citizens, neighborhood organizations, educational institutions, non-profit and faith-based community groups, private and community developers, business partners, government officials, and departmental staff. Representing over 125 neighborhoods in 32 zip codes, Livable Memphis provides a grassroots voice for communities in the ongoing community conversation about development trends and challenges to neighborhood revitalization.

Our Miami Public Places Challenge

ioby is proud to be a part of the team behind the Miami Foundation’s Our Miami Public Spaces Challenge. We are super duper excited to be providing the training and tools to support Miami civic leaders in making human-scale interventions in their neighborhoods with the support and assistance of their neighbors.

You can map your ideas for public space on the Our Miami site, and ioby will make crowdfunding your great idea ridiculously simple and straightforward, not to mention accomplishable. We help leaders organize all the resources necessary to successfully change the world, one project at a time. All the Our Miami ideas that are currently crowdfunding are here.

How do we do this? Through personal interaction. At ioby, we stand for the opposite of NIMBY, supporting citizen-led, neighbor-funded change. ioby is a vehicle to make positive change quickly, through the use of our crowd-resourcing platform designed for people with great ideas to make their neighborhoods stronger and more sustainable. On ioby, anyone with a good idea can get more than just money. You can also recruit volunteers and share ideas with a likeminded community. And, in the NYC and Miami metro areas, ioby offers fiscal sponsorship for the majority of our projects – this means we handle the headache and hassle of accepting tax-deductible donations, empowering leaders to do what they do best.

During the Public Spaces Challenge we will offer four specialized fast-cash trainings in Miami, sharing 5 years of honed knowledge about running highly successful crowd-funding and crowd-resourcing campaigns and providing a clear and simple path to success spelled out in best practices. The trainings are on Wednesday, August 28, September 4, 11 and 18. Sign up here.

“A Gift of the Whole People”: How Crowdfunding Can Help Revitalize National Parks

ioby is proud to announce a new partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association to crowdfund projects in our country’s beloved national parks. It sounds like a cutting-edge idea, and it is—though another cause beat us to the punch by more than a hundred years.

In the late 19th century, French writer and political figure Edouard de Laboulaye came up with the idea for France to give to the United States a symbol of liberty, 100 years after Bastille Day and the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The Statue of Liberty was built in two parts. French cities, towns, and individuals contributed two million francs, securing all the necessary funding for the statue’s steel and copper by 1880. But, years later, the United States, still embroiled in a rivalry of which city–Philadelphia, Boston, or New York City–would be the statue’s home state, was unable to come up with the money to build the pedestal upon which Lady Liberty would stand.

Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer had recently purchased the New York City daily, The World. He decided to take up the cause for New York City and inadvertently launched the first American crowdfunding campaign. On March 16, 1885, The World ran this plea:

We must raise the money! The World is the people’s paper, and now it appeals to the people to come forward and raise the money. The $250,000 that the making of the Statue cost was paid in by the masses of the French people—by the working men, the tradesmen, the shop girls, the artisans—by all, irrespective of class or condition. Let us respond in like manner. Let us not wait for the millionaires to give us this money. It is not a gift from the millionaires of France to the millionaires of America, but a gift of the whole people of France to the whole people of America.

By August 11, 1885, the campaign brought in 125,000 donations totaling $100,000, many people donating less than a dollar each to create the foundation for this great symbol of liberty, now managed by the National Park Service.

Today, NPCA and ioby join together continue this great legacy of utilizing citizen philanthropy to support more of our nation’s urban national treasures.

ioby was created for all people who say, “Yes, I want positive change in my community!” On ioby, anyone with a great idea to make her neighborhood stronger and more sustainable can raise tax-deductible donations, recruit local volunteers, and share ideas in a like-minded community.

ioby began as a pilot program in New York City and has a special interest in supporting projects in dense urban centers, which is why we are so excited to be working on this partnership with NPCA and their community partners, National Aquarium (Baltimore, MD), Tropical Audubon Society (Miami, FL), and Roots and Wings (Los Angeles, LA), who are dedicated to connecting city dwellers to the great outdoors.

We launch the pilot today with three great campaigns. In Baltimore, the National Aquarium and National Park Service will recruit volunteers to clear and maintain trails at the wetland adjacent to Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Tropical Audubon Society will lead kayaking trips in Biscayne Bay in Miami. In Los Angeles, the Roots and Wings Program will bring high school students on outdoor adventures into five different western national parks.

These crowdfunding campaigns are not so different from the campaign to fund the Statue of Liberty. Sure, we have some advantages. Web tools make collecting donations easier and social channels like Facebook and Twitter help us amplify these stories and visions.

But the premise is not unlike what Mr. Pulitzer posed in 1885. Combined with thousands of other small donations, a single dollar gains power. With others, the voice of a lone micro-donor grows louder, and says, “Yes, I want healthy wetlands in Baltimore!” and, “Yes, I support kayaking trips in Biscayne Bay!” and “Yes, I want Los Angeles youth to visit more national parks!”

Learn more about easy ways you can contribute a dollar (or more) to the parks and say “yes!” to other important causes at

Micro-Funding Platform Teams up with Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation to stimulate green projects at NYC Community Development Corporations


January 23, 2012
For Immediate Release


Erin Barnes
Executive Director,
917-464-4515 x2 o
203-606-7710 c

Betsy MacLean
Director of Community Development
Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation
718-647-2800 x107

Micro-Funding Platform Teams up with Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation to stimulate green projects at NYC Community Development Corporations

A New Farm in Cypress Hills/East New York and Gowanus Green Wayfinding Project
Take the Lead in Initiating Crowd-Funding Match

New York, NY – ioby, the only online micro-funding platform designed to promote civic environmental projects in cities, announces a new match campaign for all projects led by Community Development Corporations (CDCs) in NYC.  Deutsche Bank is the first leading global investment bank to support by providing a matching grant to stimulate green projects at NYC Community Development Corporations.    

“Any New Yorker can post their project on ioby, but we have a special interest in supporting the ideas and initiatives of New Yorkers in neighborhoods that have a greater burden of environmental problems and fewer resources to address them,” says Erin Barnes, executive director and co-founder of ioby. “With Deutsche Bank’s match for CDC-led projects, we have a special opportunity to work with an existing infrastructure in neighborhoods like this.”

In New York City, CDCs are not-for-profits that work to address problems of social, economic, and physical distress in the low and moderate-income communities in which they are based. Their fundamental mission is to build community leadership and empower low-income people to take charge of their future.

“CDCs bring a comprehensive point of view to neighborhood development, and in many neighborhoods, they are playing a leading role engaging their constituents in local environmental issues,” says Sam Marks, Vice President, Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation.  “We were compelled by the notion that ioby could provide a platform to allow CDCs to take advantage of grassroots crowd-resourcing for block-level sustainability projects aligned with their broader community visions.”

Leading off this match campaign are two innovative projects. First, the Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation (CHLDC), as part of their community-wide sustainability initiative, Cypress Hills Verde, is raising $5,940 for an urban farm in the East New York/Cypress Hills neighborhood of Brooklyn. The project – Pollos Del Pueblo – will transform an overgrown, City-owned vacant lot into a community resource with a chicken coop, a chicken run, storage shed and community compost station.

“East New York/Cypress Hills is a food desert. Fresh, nutritious food is hard, if not impossible to come by out here. The result is a devastating health crisis where a third of adults are obese and 19% have diabetes. Additionally, more than half of residents live below the poverty line, unemployment is a high 19% and more than 80% of students qualify for free lunch,” says Betsy MacLean, Director of Community Development, Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation. “At the same time, demand for fresh, nutritious, affordable food is overwhelming – community members desperately want more healthy, affordable choices — for themselves and their families. In a recent survey, we found that more than half of residents said that they would like to grow their own food if they could. This project and grassroots fundraising campaign offer the opportunity to take a real blight on the community – one of many vacant, overgrown lots – and transform it into a site for exciting, important community building AND expanded access to fresh food – including organic eggs!”

The second project in this pilot program is a partnership between Living City Block Gowanus and the Gowanus Community Development Corporation. Together, the groups will host a series of charettes and design contests to create the best wayfinding signs for visitors and residents of the Gowanus neighborhood. The signs will lead pedestrians, cyclists and car traffic to various green infrastructure sites in the area, such as bike racks, solar panels, bioswales and micro-wind turbines.

“Gowanus has a special culture of its own, and the community should play a role in creating and designating the interest spots of the neighborhood,” says Llewelyn Wells, president and founder, Living City Block. “Since the entire process of the project is about citizen engagement, the fundraising for it will be, too.”

Crowdfunding has become an effective way for small organizations and individuals to raise timely cash from their social networks. ioby pools small donations of thousands of micro-donors so far fully funding nearly 100 projects in all five boroughs. The average donation is $35 and the average project budget is $1,200. Most ioby micro-donors live within two miles of the project they are supporting.

“After finding matching campaigns to be a very effective way for us to support the work of ioby’s project leaders, we couldn’t be happier about this initiative,” says Brandon Whitney, COO and co-founder of ioby. “Matches embolden project leaders and micro-donors alike.”

On, any New Yorker can post their project idea, connect with top social media sites, raise tax-deductible donations, organize volunteer workdays and share ideas in a likeminded community. Projects on ioby include safe cycling improvements, urban farms, classroom field trips, community gardens and compost initiatives, urban chickening and beekeeping, parks conservation, water conservation, trash cleanups, waterfront, lake and beach restoration, small-scale solar and wind and more. 

See Deutsche Bank-matched projects here.
If you have an environmental project for NYC, apply to post your project today.
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