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 20 2011: I like Tom Ponessa’s contribution below (or above…) and so many of the other thoughts on cities.

    One direction I’d be interested in seeing the TED folks explore would involve using these social and ecological perspectives to develop principles for adaptive management, approaching “city 2.0” not as a discrete artifact or end goal, but more as processes of urbanization unfolding and interacting across varied natural and cultural landscapes.

    Of course, amazing people, communities, and institutions have been addressing various facets of cities. How can TED harness the diversity of its community to work on these challenges and mutually support the multitude of local experiments? Perhaps there is some role for the network of TED communities and urban residents across the globe to assist with sourcing, comparing, and “ground truthing” various initiatives -- under the wide array of local conditions -- to investigate what and how particular activities can scale up, and also expand the menu of urban development/transition philosophies and potential solutions.

    I’d add that these approaches might include how decision makers can better confront conditions that change rapidly and in unpredictable ways at various scales. This might include ways to
    *loosen up formal processes into more flexible principles that acknowledge the informal nature of much urban land use
    *nurture places/neighborhoods that help people of all ages and backgrounds thrive (leave no neighborhood behind)
    *facilitate regional urban processes that respect, protect, and incorporate natural landscape systems that support wildlife habitat and robust ecosystems
    *make cities part of “reconciliation ecology” and healing places
    *encourage resource and community relationships that enhance capacity to cope with variation and shocks (food, weather, population shifts, etc.)

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