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Playlist: Our future in cities

11 talks · 2h 52m · Curated by TED

Our future in cities (11 talks)

Humanity's future is the future of cities. Explore the crowded favelas, greened-up blocks and futuristic districts that could shape the future of cities — and take a profane, hilarious side trip to the suburbs.

  • 1.
    3:05
    Now playing
    Rural villages worldwide are being deserted, as billions of people flock to cities to live in teeming squatter camps and slums. Stewart Brand says this is a good thing. Why? It’ll take you 3 minutes to find out.
  • 2.
    18:36
    Now playing
    In an emotionally charged talk, MacArthur-winning activist Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx — and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.
  • 3.
    16:58
    Now playing
    In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story "Tower of David," an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity's ability to survive and make a home — anywhere.
  • 4.
    14:02
    Now playing
    In this funny and thought-provoking talk, Janette Sadik-Khan, transportation commissioner of New York City, shares projects that have reshaped street life in the 5 boroughs, including pedestrian zones in Times Square, high-performance buses and a 6,000-cycle-strong bike share. Her mantra: Do bold experiments that are cheap to try out.
  • 5.
    16:56
    Now playing
    How do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car — which he calls "a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device" — by making our cities more walkable and more pleasant for more people.
  • 6.
    15:43
    Now playing
    Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.
  • 7.
    14:03
    Now playing
    Robert Neuwirth, author of "Shadow Cities," finds the world’s squatter sites — where a billion people now make their homes — to be thriving centers of ingenuity and innovation. He takes us on a tour.
  • 8.
    18:29
    Now playing
    How can a struggling country break out of poverty if it's trapped in a system of bad rules? Economist Paul Romer unveils a bold idea: "charter cities," city-scale administrative zones governed by a coalition of nations. (Could Guantánamo Bay become the next Hong Kong?)
  • 9.
    16:41
    Now playing
    How can we fit more people into cities without overcrowding? Kent Larson shows off folding cars, quick-change apartments and other innovations that could make the city of the future work a lot like a small village of the past.
  • 10.
    18:28
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    More than 8 million people are crowded together to live in New York City. What makes it possible? In part, it’s the city’s great public spaces — from tiny pocket parks to long waterfront promenades — where people can stroll and play. Amanda Burden helped plan some of the city’s newest public spaces, drawing on her experience as, surprisingly, an animal behaviorist. She shares the unexpected challenges of planning parks people love — and why it's important.
  • 11.
    19:44
    Now playing
    In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.