i used to keep this idea to myself because I wanted to be the one to start and/or run the organization. Now I care about other things..
The idea is called ProCat, or Project Catalyst Organization. The idea is to establish a non-profit organization, with legal bindings, and they allow it to allow the citizens to establish ideas, submit variations on ideas, and vote on them - ideas for improving the town, like, for example, establishing a new park. But it's not this simple.
The citizens themselves -- maybe, at least sometimes -- pay for the project (because there may be no other way). So, how does it work?
Say 1,000 people vote on a new park. Bob submitted an idea, Marly modified it, more people voted on Marly's modification, all 1,000 of them (or maybe not all) committed to paying a certain amount toward the project, but ONLY IF the project passes successfully. They probably committed varying amounts of money, but if it adds up to being enough then they all win. If it doesn't?? Nobody pays!
Obviously we can't trust somebody with that last $100 it takes to make a park just because they committed to it, so what the idea should probably be is that they *already* pay and THEN if it falls through - for lack of enough funds or for some other reason - then they all get paid back; the organization we *can* trust.