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Interactive signs with QR codes are located around the city of Golden, CO. (Image source: CommonSights)

Innovative urban marketing techniques are swiftly being adopted by local governments around the world to aide the transformation of their cities- no matter the size- into thriving centers for tourism, culture and development. More and more municipalities see the need to capitalize on their community’s assets and create well thought-out public spaces as means to attract more businesses, residents and visitors.

Take Golden, Colorado for example. The city has been working to enhance urban appeal towards its own residents and visitors alike. Two existing programs, ‘Visit Golden’ and ‘Buy Golden’, have been launched to promote tourism and commerce in this beautiful city nestled in the Rocky Mountain foothills. The Golden Urban Renewal Authority (GURA) recently launched an interactive online guide for the city as an extension of the Visit Golden website based on the newly released CommonSights App. The new CommonSights aims to reinvent the community map for the mobile age by featuring unique signage, civic engagement and crowd-funding capabilities for local advertisers. A mobile and web app offers users a highly interactive way to learn about nearby attractions, as well as explore the rich culture and history of this city on the Colorado Front Range. As we’re seeing more and more with interactive advertising, the app and its interactive map can be found while on-the-go on unique signs  around town, as well as from a distance online.

Urban marketing techniques incorporate mobile apps as well as online access. (Image source: CommonSights)

A key difference to other sightseeing apps is that the city encourages residents to add their favorite places, including details about exact locations, images and external links, as well as share their personal experiences via comments, ratings and social media. “The City of Golden is always looking to the future for ways to promote its historic downtown,” the Executive Director of the Golden Urban Renewal Authority recently stated, “We hope this new mobile tool will create more interest in Golden from potential visitors and residents alike.”

In the coming weeks, residents and visitors will begin seeing even more signs popping up around town designed specifically to spark interest and curiosity. The signs provide both QR codes and shortened URLs to further simplify the user’s experience. Urban Interactive Studio’s new CommonSights app utilizes a crowd-sourcing technique that allows GURA to take advantage of the knowledge and experience of Golden’s residents. Users are able to offer their feedback and suggest additional places, while administrators remain in control of content using a simple review process. Users can rate and comment each other’s entries, ensuring that the best and most relevant places rise to the top of their content. Additionally, the app’s crowd-funding model makes it easy for the city to gather support from local advertisers to cover their costs and generate additional revenue, while simultaneously providing location-based marketing opportunities for local businesses. The city of Golden is a golden example of an all-round urban marketing plan that will undoubtedly be adopted by cities around the world.