The City 2.0 is under construction. As the winner of the 2012 TED Prize--the first to be awarded to an idea rather than a person--TED unveiled its $100,000 “wish” Wednesday evening at its flagship conference in Long Beach, California. “Imagine a platform that brings you together, locally and globally,” explained a short animated film screened during the conference. “Combine the reach of the cloud with the power of the crowd. Connect leaders, experts, companies, organizations and citizens. Share your tools, data, designs, successes, and ideas. Turn them into action.”
In practice, this means sponsoring a new crowdsourcing site, TheCity2.org, which is designed as a clearinghouse for multidisciplinary projects inviting “mayors, architects, engineers, urban planners, non-profits, multinational companies, and others to freely share ideas, tools, and resources." This is similar to the Open Architecture Network created by 2006 TED Prize winner and Architecture for Humanity founder Cameron Sinclair. That community of more than 13,000 architects and other professionals has developed 1,200 projects to date. TheCity2.org has a long way to go to reach that size--as of Thursday morning, half the site’s links produced the message “coming soon.”
The awarding of prize money has been deferred until the TED Global conference in June, when TED will distribute 10 grants of $10,000 each to local projects in various cities. The site itself has received backing from the Knight Foundation (in the form of a $250,000 grant) and services in kind from IBM, Autodesk, and Streetline--all of which are building businesses around “smart cities” and urban informatics. How the 10 grants will be awarded remains to be seen. TED says it will announce details sometime in the next month.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.