Pssst. Nouveau-riche and dying to go down in philanthropic history? Why not build a “public space” vanity project? It’s easy. Here’s how you do it:
1. Approach a star designer. They are usually found talking with curators at art gallery openings, next to the table with the wine and cheese.
2. Instruct star designer to produce a 3D rendering of an innovative “public space” in a decayed part of the city where you have previously bought lots of cheap land. Rendering must ooze with the color green. There should be lots of vegetation growing out of all sorts of “parametrically optimized” orifices.
3. Take 3D rendering to city hall and get your minion there to organize a “public competition” for a “public space” project that you will “privately fund”.
4. Meanwhile, in exchange for funding said minion’s re-election effort, make sure that s/he sees to it that any necessary approvals are fast-tracked and that public money is committed toward construction of project. While you’re at it, get minion to change the zoning of your land from “low-rise industrial” to “high-rise residential / commercial”.
5. The media does the rest for you: hyping the “winner” of the “competition” (surprise: it’s your star designer!) and garnering public support, volunteers, crowd-funding, etc. for your “progressive” and “forward-thinking” vision.
6. Finally, when “public space” is built, self-publish a lavish, limited edition hard-cover book of project. You are now set to go down in history as a great philanthropist. Oh, by the way, you can sell the land now.