build_cities is a protocol for startup cities.
That is, we are building the infrastructure for innovators and communities to incubate, develop, and sustain startup cities anywhere in the world. This includes ecosystems in existing cities and brand new ones. Full tweet explainers below:
14 months after a v0 whitepaper draft, forming a team over the internet, two design and development cycles, one failed product launch, and a series of learnings in-between, the public beta for build_cities has now been live for just under 30 days. With over 300+ networks already onboarded across 50 city directories, we’ve turned the page in our journey from Prologue (theory) to Chapter 1 (practice) and will now be able to iterate more rapidly towards the vision. ICYMI, here’s a tweet thread of our launch announcement.
As a decentralized organization, the build_cities protocol is only as strong as the initiative of the community members. Currently our internal community is distributed across nine functional guilds with any member who has completed an onboarding to opt-in to one or multiple guilds. To date, the primary guild activity has been concentrated in the design and development guilds in order to get our foundational app out into the world.
More recently, the Governance Guild has started to emerge and started putting the pieces together for what the governance structure of the protocol will look like at the city-level, the global-level, and everything in between. At such an early stage, the biweekly governance syncs ranges in scope from testing assumptions, political philosophy, new governance primitives, scenario run-throughs, and inching towards the primary objective of establishing a framework for a city-level DAO as the primary building block in the protocol.
In October, we had the good fortune of conversing with pioneers in the startup cities space in both newsletter and podcast formats. Some highlights are as follows with Startup Cities, Cabin DAO, and City DAO, respectively.
Startup Cities Newsletter interview with build_cities co-founder Angelo Alessio covers everything from building startup ecosystems to how Municipal DeFi can be used to finance city-building.
A podcast interview with Cabin DAO podcast "Campfire" with host Jackson Steger covering the infrastructure build_cities is creating to better support city-building and network state initiatives.
A discussion with City DAO podcast on bridging IRL and URL communities to further cement bonds in city-building efforts.
build_cities co-founder Nicholas Smoot has been activating communities, new economic verticals, and real estate for the better part of the last decade with Innovation Collective. His work serves as the blueprint for activating ecosystems all around the world from a digital-first approach. In this recent video, you’ll get in-depth look at what we view to be the modern-day “town hall” for innovators in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and eventually replicating around the globe.
Tour of the Innovation Den, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
In Q4, we plan to make several releases that improve the overall experience and performance improvement for the public beta as well the ability for networks to add additional data about themselves. These networks will then be verified in the app and surface to the top of the network directory to make them more discoverable to other users. Network admins can get early notice to claim their network through this form.
On an evergreen basis, build_cities will be evaluating submissions for adding new cities to the application. These ecosystems will only be as strong as those who are able to lead them for the health and growth of the protocol. If your is not yet listed in the app, you can apply here to have it listed. City applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will likely be issuing new cities starting in Q1 2023.
Mobile app is currently in private beta with expected app store release in Q2 2023.
Town Square is our next major web app release that will allow individuals, networks, cities, or every combination thereof the ability to showcase new projects and discoveries to broadcast to the protocol. Stay tuned in the coming months for more details.
If you’re looking to get more involved with build_cities, here are the three primary ways to get started.
Until next month, let’s all keep building together.