Greenmount Coop

Rafi Segal, Alina Nazmeeva, Greg Lindsay, Stacco Troncoso, Irene Lopez de Vallejo, Marisa Morán Jahn

Greenmount Coop proposes to investigate the potential of web3 tools to reinforce supportive local networks. In East Baltimore, for example, hundreds of buildings and lots sit vacant, while the neighborhood lacks basic amenities such as grocery stores stocking healthy food options. Using the Distributed Cooperative Organization (DisCO) framework that harnesses distributed ledger technology to build mutual support, Greenmount Coop aims to explore how blockchain-based social currencies might be used to organize and accelerate efforts to create neighborhood assets. 

Greenmount Coop intends to create guidelines and a prototype, the first of its kind, using the DisCO framework, that operates on the urban scale and addresses the built environment. The fundamental part of the research is the community workshops whose aim is to explore, co-design and adapt the DisCO governance framework for the needs of the Greenmount Coop, and open it up to the community, for other groups to use and develop. 

Outcomes include a report documenting the research process and community workshops that will be open access and freely available online. Our next step and a long-term goal is to create a digital platform empowering the communities of East Baltimore to share, discuss and take collective decisions regarding neighborhood development plans, exchange value, and develop explicit networks of care.

The team includes: Associate Professor Rafi Segal, MIT ARCH, Director, MIT Future Urban Collectives Lab, Alina Nazmeeva and Greg Lindsay; DisCO.Coop Stacco Troncoso, Irene Lopez de Vallejo; Marisa Morán Jahn, Associate Director of Integrated Design, Parsons/The New School;  neighborhood associations, Baltimore.

Image: Vacant buildings and lots in Baltimore, 2020 (MIT Future Urban Collectives Lab).

This research is funded by 2022 Norman B. Leventhal Center for Advanced Urbanism Seed Grant.