Royal Oak launches crowdfunding campaign for community Smart Park

Nate Pilon

Monday, May 18, 2015

$60,000 goal to secure matching grant through MEDC’s Public Spaces Community Places initiative

Lansing, Mich. – The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the City of Royal Oak today announced a new crowdfunding campaign through Michigan-based crowdfunding platform Patronicity. The campaign will support the construction of an environmentally-friendly ‘smart’ park on Center Street in downtown Royal Oak.

If the Royal Oak Smart Park attains its crowdfunding goal of $60,000 by June 16, MEDC will provide a $60,000 matching grant. For project details and to donate, please visit:

“The Royal Oak Smart Park really exemplifies what Public Spaces Community Places is all about—the community banding together to transform an underutilized plaza into an unique and engaging destination,” said MEDC Community Development Director Katharine Czarnecki.

With the help of the community and supporters from surrounding areas, the City of Royal Oak will bring a one of a kind, technologically advanced gathering space to the downtown area. The Royal Oak Smart Park will not only encourage interaction amongst visitors, but promote economic and social vitality.

"We are thrilled to move forward on such an incredibly ambitious project—one that will connect Royal Oak in smart new ways," said Mayor Jim Ellison. "We have done our homework, talking to a variety of experts from "green" planners to local technology gurus. We believe our smart park concept has potential on so many fronts."

The Royal Oak Smart Park will feature an interactive kiosk that promotes Royal Oak businesses, events, and history, public WiFi, mobile device charging stations, play area for children, civic art and more.

“The League firmly believes that our communities are the economic driver of our state and we create communities we love by building on the assets that already exist,” said Dan Gilmartin, executive director and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League. “This crowdfunding project uses technology to help tie together all the existing assets in Royal Oak and will be something people will enjoy using for years to come.”

Public Spaces Community Places is a collaborative effort of the MEDC, the Michigan Municipal League, and Patronicity where local residents can use crowdfunding to be part of the development of strategic projects in their communities and be backed with a matching grant from MEDC. Communities, non-profits and other business entities can apply at

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About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.