At this week's annual TED conference, the TED prize 2012 was announced. It was not awarded to a person, but to an idea: The city 2.0.
Ed Glaeser, Harvard economist and author of the The triumph of the city, was one of the speakers at the event. “At their heart,” he said, “cities are the absence of physical space between people.” And cities power the economy: In the U.S., the three largest metropolitan areas produce 80% of GDP but contain only 13% of population. He went on to explain how cities make us smarter.
In practice the TED initiative is about the cloud and the crowd. They sponsor a new site TheCity2.org to connect leaders, experts, companies, organizations and citizens. The goal is to crowdsource a virtual clearinghouse for tools and methodologies and best practices to reshape cities around the world.
An interesting bit on the TED blog is about Suja Lowenthal, the Vice Mayor of Long Beach and her involvement in a project planned in the Free State (the province in South Africa).
Her story today is about a city she has been dreaming about, and is about to help build in Free State, a province at the heart of South Africa. Two years ago the provincial government asked her to be part of building a new city, the CITY for Tomorrow. It will be a city of over half a million, and deeply green — no cars allowed in the center. It will be designed to appeal to a young generation, that appeals to health, education and opportunity. It will be a beautiful modern city built on a blank canvas.
The rest of the story is here. Has anyone here heard about this?