TED Conversations

Amy Novogratz

TED Prize Director, TED Conferences


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If you could make a wish on behalf of The City 2.0, what would it be?

Today, TED announces the winner of the 2012 TED Prize: the City 2.0. The City 2.0 is the city of the future ... a future in which more than 10 billion people on planet Earth must somehow live sustainably, together. The City 2.0 is not a sterile utopian dream, but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity's collective wisdom. The City 2.0 promotes innovation, education, culture and economic opportunity. The City 2.0 reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants and eases the environmental pressure on the world's rural areas. The City 2.0 is a place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life. The City 2.0 is the city that works.

A range of visionaries around the world will be advocates on behalf of the City 2.0. We are listening to them -- and to you.

What is your wish for The City 2.0? A wish capable of igniting a massive collaborative project among the members of the global TED community, and indeed all who care about our planet's future.

Share it below.


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    Dec 7 2011: The City 2.0 has many responsibilities:

    socio-economic // environmental // spatial // short-term & long-term design // better adapted buildings & materials // embedded supply networks with cradle to cradle design // changes in governance // a less colonial relationship with rural areas & inner cities // provide stability while allowing change // promoting the public & democratic over the private & unaccountable // proper size // population // biopolitical // more useable, embedded & relatable // differently assembled // better understanding of human behavior & learning // and so on, forever and ever.

    So, it seems the rallying call of the TED Prize will be "Maximize benefits, minimize costs!"

    That hardly stirs the soul, but maybe it's practical enough, considering TED wants to invest $100,000 in something.

    It's true that "what benefits" is controversial, as well as "what costs" & "which costs are acceptable" are similarly so. Passionate arguments can develop around different ideas of efficiency: what should exist & what should not.

    However, it seems that change requires something more emotional, visceral to catch the passionate imaginations of us all & move us toward a better arrangement -- in addition to the practical aspects of max/min.

    So, those considerations would be:

    the internal architecture within humans of the proper city & it's proper relations to other things // changing the mental image of the city & what it should be // ideology of a city's form // changing expectations & associations // and so on, relating to the political & artistic experiences of living in spaces with others.

    Same problem. What can we rally around?

    I wish The City 2.0 would rally around happiness as a way to connect these diverse responsibilities & considerations into one human-sized goal.

    Efficiency is important, no doubt. However, using happiness as our end-goal will give us more room to be human as we are compelled to seriously rethink ourselves & our environment.

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