Asia Initiatives

Crowd-sourcing Urban Development: Feature article on role of Social Capital and SoCCs published in City Observer

Geeta Mehta, Founder AI and Shreya Malu, Associate with AI make an argument for Social Capital's role in cities and urban development. They write "Social Capital is the glue that holds cities together, and makes them exciting places to live in and thrive". However, prioritization to financial gains and growing rich-poor divide in most world cities is resulting in loss of this social capital. Functions such as cultural and ecological stewardship, social accountability, community building, care of the aged, protecting the public realm of cities, and other functions used to be ‘crowd-sourced’ in cities in the sense that these cities could leverage their rich social capital for these functions. Read more here.

City Observer is a biannual  journal on cities published by Urban Design Collective. 


Ghana's Newest Neighbors: SoCCs published in the World Policy Journal

Urvashi Kaul, AI Board member, explores the use of SoCCs, a tool used to reinforce and create grass-roots community networks in cities across the world. She writes about her experiences in Kumasi, Ghana, implementing a program where people perform socially beneficial activities to earn credits that can be redeemed for goods and services. The concept is simple, but Kaul argues SoCCs can help bring about “a redefinition of wealth that takes into account the power of community.” Read more here