Solving Cities

Will TED's City 2.0 crowd-sourcing platform yield results?

Will TED's City 2.0 crowd-sourcing platform yield results?

Posting in Cities

From raccoon recycling to population density, the 2012 TED Prize announces crowd-sourcing platform for City 2.0.

SmartPlanet covered the shocking announcement of TED's 2012 Prize last December. Never before had TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) awarded the $100,000 prize to an idea. The winner? A city that embodies both soul and economic vision.

A city that doesn't exist yet. The City 2.0.

Yet the TED Prize isn't only monetary, it also comes with "One Wish to Change the World". And while not everyone believes wishes come true, when you have a global community of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, CEOs, and technological innovators hearing your wish things might seem a little more magical.

The TED Prize Wish was just announced at the TED Conference in Long Beach, CA, as an international call-out to build a collective vision for an unmarred future city. Organizations, companies, and citizens around the world are being asked to share resources and ideas on an online crowd-sourcing platform.

Will the crowd-sourcing approach yield results on the ground? At a recent roundtable of TED Fellows (including Mitchell Joachim, the architect and urban designer working on plans for downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Navy Yard waterfront, Damian Palin, a biominerologist working toward using microorganisms to mine minerals, and Zena el Khalil, a writer, artist and cultural activist), attitudes varied from indiscernible shouts of encouragement to concerns about exclusivity.

Zena el Khalil stated:

To be honest, I worry the plan doesn't fully take into account cities in the developing world. Problems in cities like Beirut, Mumbai, Beijing have very specific problems - political, geographical, religious. The speakers today spoke about dreams, which is beautiful, but I would have liked to hear more concrete solutions for cities that are really struggling today. And we should be talking about the cities of the Middle East.

When asked about concrete plans for contributing to the City 2.0 vision, topics spanned from population density, xenophobia in bars, mining urban resources, public seating, graffiti, and urban wildlife.

Laurel Braitman, a TED Fellow, science historian and writer, offered this:

One project I'm working on now is how we can engage with urban wildlife, such as raccoons. Raccoons are smart, they're evolved to work with people, they get into all sorts of trouble. But they're also amazing waste recyclers - they eat our trash. I plan to work with an architect to create a raccoon trash can that allows them to access the waste food without overturning trash cans, while keeping food out of landfills.

Throw your ideas into the ring - the beta site is now open for business.

2012 TED Prize wish: The City 2.0 from TED Prize on Vimeo.

[via TED Blog]

Image: thecity2.org

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Sonya James

Contributing Writer

Sonya James is a multimedia producer based in New York. With creativity and innovation in mind, she speaks to diverse voices on topics from racism in the art world to the patriotic nature of southern food. She holds a Masters Degree in Community Development. Disclosure