Topics Cities

2012 TED Prize Winner: The City 2.0

TED gave ten $10,000 awards to innovative ideas about urban transformation through 2012.

A project to put technology to work in the movement to end street harassment.
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Blueprints for everyday people to build their own homes using open sourced designs and locally sourced materials. View Project »

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TED Books about cities More TED Books »

City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get there

12 promising, provocative responses to the challenge of mondern-day urbanization, in realms from transportation to food to art.

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Explore the power and possibility within the world’s
cities — through TED Talks, playlists, photo contests
and stories that examine city life.


San Francisco,

On St. Patrick’s Day in 2008, Chris Downey, an architect, planner and consultant, reported to the hospital for surgery to remove a brain tumor. The procedure was a success. But two days later, his sight started to fail. On the third day, it was gone. Here, he describes relearning how to navigate life in his home of San Francisco
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Many in Dhaka experience poverty, limited education, exploitation… but born-and-bred Dhakaite, architect Nurur Rahman Khan, explains why he'd never live anywhere else. See also a gallery of photographs taken all over the metropolis by Mohammad Tauheed, even as the city experienced another 48-hour strike. Read more »

New Zealand

Danny Squires was at work when the 6.3-magnitude rocked Christchurch in February, 2011. "It was this unimaginable violence that you could do nothing about. It just obliterated the city," he remembers in this profile that looks at how the city has tried to rebuild since that dreadful day. See also great pictures by Clayton Prest.
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The city in pictures: #CITIESDISCOVERED

Over the course of 12 weeks, we ran a series of TED Photo Challenges to collect evocative pictures that capture the spirit of communities in the 21st century. Check out some of the other submissions on Instagram and on our curated Pinterest board.

Video Playlists about cities

  • Curated by

    Must-listen talks about the future of the environment, crime, technology, government and the human race.

  • Curated by

    Master architects share their vision for buildings that inflate, float, twist and glitter, while artfully addressing the challenges faced by their residents, their cities and the planet.

  • Curated by

    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.


TED Articles on cities More Articles »

What to do about Detroit? A Q&A with urban planner, Toni Griffin

December 16, 2013

Everyone knows Detroit is in trouble. The list of problems assaulting the once-mighty Motor City is long and, from a look at national newspapers, incessantly documented. Most recently, the city filed for bankruptcy; its former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, was sentenced to 28 years in prison for public corruption. Since the booming 1950s, the city of Detroit […]

5 TED Talks about bikes

December 06, 2013

“I don’t think protected bicycle ways are a cute architectural feature. They are a right, just as sidewalks are,” says Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogota, Colombia, in today’s talk. “Protected bikeways also are a powerful symbol of democracy, because they show that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important to one […]

Jawdropping views of cozy homes built in an abandoned office tower, a lagoon, a recycling heap and more

October 16, 2013

Iwan Baan is not as interested in what architects build as he is in the beautiful ways that people appropriate the spaces once the planners are gone. In today’s talk, Baan — whose breathtaking image of lower Manhattan after Hurricane Sandy hangs on at least one of our walls — shows incredible images from communities thriving […]

Eduardo Paes

Favelas [slums] are not always a problem. Favelas can sometimes really be a solution.

— Eduardo Paes

Mayor Eduardo Paes is on a mission to ensure that Rio's renaissance creates a positive legacy for all its citizens.

Conversations about cities More Conversations »