2012 TED Prize Given To The City 2.0

2012 TED Prize Given To The City 2.0

Mar 06




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By Conor White-Sullivan
The Huffington Post
March 1, 2012

Original Link

Since 2005, the TED conference has awarded $100,000 prizes each year to individuals with an idea to change the world. This year, the award was distributed in a different way: to an idea, the City 2.0.

The idea of a reimagined city was a dominant theme at this year’s TED conference. Jennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code For America, spoke of how her organization puts software developers who might normally be at home in the startup world into the bureaucratic wilderness of city hall to try to develop innovative solutions to civic problems. Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes spoke of how his city was able to win the Olympic games, expand the reach of its public transit system from covering 18 percent of citizens to 63 percent of citizens, bring healthcare and open spaces into the Favelas and build a modern control center to keep track of the large amounts of data about weather, service worker activity and traffic patterns.

The centerpiece, though, was TED’s announcement of TheCity2.Org, a collaborative platform where citizens, leaders and corporations can connect to identify and support ideas for the future of their cities. The platform is supported with $250,000 in funding from the Knight Foundation, and a number of large corporations are throwing their weight behind it as well, including IBM and Autodesk.

“With the City 2.0, the TED Prize has embarked on the ultimate design challenge,” said TED Curator Chris Anderson. “This is a global call for collaborative action on one of the biggest issues of our day. The new platform we’re launching today is designed to empower citizens to connect with each other to help reshape their own cities. And it’s designed to be open-tent. Numerous other organizations and individuals have been involved in this issue for years, and this platform allows them to share their successes, resources, and insights with the rest of the world.”

TED also announced ten grants of $10,000, coming out of the $100,000 TED Prize, that will be awarded at TED Global in June 2012 to those local projects most likely to spur the creation of their City 2.0.


By Chris Anderson, Curator of TED
Huffington Post
March 2, 2012

Original Link

Many of us grew up seeing global urbanization as E.F. Shumacher did — as possibly the deadliest trend facing the world.

We were wrong. Far from threatening humanity, cities are the key to building a future our planet can sustain.

We may think of them as overcrowded places. But actually, it is the growth of cities that may ultimately allay predictions of population Armageddon. Across the world, as people urbanize, family sizes fall dramatically.

We may think of them as polluted. But actually, the average carbon footprint per individual in cities is far smaller than that of those who live in suburbia and rural communities. People commute shorter distances, and by living on top of each other in smaller homes, heating and air-conditioning use per household is lower.

We may think with dismay of the teeming slums of the developing world. But as TED2012 speaker Ed Glaeser persuasively explains in his book Triumph of the City, it’s not that cities create poverty. Rather, successful cities attract poor people, and in time, offer them a route out of poverty.

Urbanization may well be the planet’s largest systemic change in centuries. In the next seven decades we’ll have to build as much urban living space as in all of human history to date. That’s the equivalent to a new city with a million residents, every week, for 70 years.

It’s a daunting task, but also an amazing opportunity.

The rise of a new kind of city is inevitable. With each vote of a politician and choice of a citizen, transportation, energy, public space, housing and law are shaping a new urban future. But what will it look like? The creation and redevelopment of the world’s cities offers us all — citizens and leaders, amateurs and experts — the ultimate design challenge. We must seize this moment.

Yesterday at TED2012, we granted this year’s TED Prize not to a person, but to a big idea: the City 2.0. The city of tomorrow. And as part of that prize we’re launching a new online platform. It will allow citizens around the world to connect with their neighbors and get to work re-imagining the cities in which they live. And it will allow visionary companies and organizations to share tools and resources to empower those grassroots efforts. The dream is to create cities where innovation, inclusiveness, health, soul and opportunity come together to reset the trajectory of the human race.

We invite mayors, architects, engineers, urban planners, nonprofits, multinational companies and ordinary citizens to use this platform. Already it offers some cool tools and the ability to connect with like-minded souls. But with your participation, it can become something truly amazing.

Just like cities, the TED Prize is based on the power of radical collaboration. Join us at thecity2.org. Tell us what you will contribute. Partner with other concerned citizens around you. Get started with building your own City 2.0.


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