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Suja Lowenthal Talks About the Future of Cities at TED Conference
Suja Lowenthal at TED2012: Full Spectrum March 2012. Photo: James Duncan Davidson The City 2.0, Recipient of the 2012 TED Prize
Unveils Its World Changing Wish

Live from the TED Stage – told through the Voices of Global Leaders and Visionaries – the City 2.0 Calls for World to Dream it, Build it

Long Beach, CA (February 29, 2012) – Live from the TED Stage in Long Beach, the 2012 TED Prize winner – the City 2.0 – spoke through the voices of world leaders, advocates, and visionaries, calling on people around the world to forge a new urban outlook.

In December, for the first time ever, the TED Prize went not to an individual but to an idea on which our planet's future depends: the City 2.0. This is the city of the future in which more than ten billion people must somehow live happily, healthfully, and sustainably.

Today, the official “wish” of the City 2.0 was unveiled in the form of a film showing the wish’s key phrases on billboards, graffiti and stock market tickers. Its message: “I am the crucible of the future…where humanity will either flourish or fade. Dream me. Build me.”  Accompanying the wish is a new online platform that allows citizens anywhere to participate in the creation of their own City 2.0.  With context and urgency expressed through talks on the city by Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, Harvard professor and economist Edward Glaeser, and Vice Mayor of Long Beach Suja Lowenthal, the words of the City 2.0 wish called for action with these words:
“Imagine a platform that brings you together, locally and globally. 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.”

“With the City 2.0, the TED Prize has embarked on the ultimate design challenge,” said TED Curator Chris Anderson. “This is a global call for collaborative action on one of the biggest issues of our day. The new platform we’re launching today is designed to empower citizens to connect with each other to help reshape their own cities. And it’s designed to be open-tent. Numerous other organizations and individuals have been involved in this issue for years, and this platform allows them to share their successes, resources, and insights with the rest of the world.”

“Our best cities reflect our best selves, and when done right they are the heart of culture, innovation, and entrepreneurship,” said TED Prize Director Amy Novogratz. “We have thrown the weight of the annual TED Prize behind the City 2.0., because we see opportunity in inspiring everyone to re-imagine how we work, learn, and live. Like our cities, the TED Prize is based on radical collaboration, and for the billions of us living in – and moving to – cities, this is a wish for all of us to take on.”

The City 2.0 stands for a new platform that excites, connects, and empowers individuals and communities around the world to create an ever-expanding network of citizen-led experiments in their own cities. Joining Mayor Paes, Vice Mayor Lowenthal, and Professor Glaeser on the TED Prize stage were four esteemed TED Community Advocates – Robert Hammond, William McDonough, Candy Chang, and Stuart Brand – each of whom shared their personal connection to the urban world and their view of the City 2.0.
About The City 2.0 Wish

Every day, professionals and governments make choices around transportation, energy, public space, housing, and law – all of which determine the future of our cities. The City 2.0 is putting these choices in the hands of everyone, and giving people a chance to build their own vision of the future city by launching a new platform: www.thecity2.org.

This site will inspire and enable citizens to engage in an upgrade of their own cities through a range of projects that they can propose – and lead. They are encouraged to use the site to create cross-disciplinary action groups dedicated to tackling issues they prioritize as crucial to their city’s success. It will invite mayors, architects, engineers, urban planners, non-profits, multinational companies, and others to freely share ideas, tools, and resources.  TED also announced ten grants of $10,000, coming out of the $100,000 TED Prize, that will be awarded at TED Global in June 2012 to ten local projects which are most likely to spur the creation of their City 2.0.
Before the City 2.0 ever unveiled its wish, the following corporations and non-profits joined the TED Prize, offering their expertise and resources to fulfill the wish and foster cities of the future.
 
These partners include:
- The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – committed to informed and engaged communities – is supporting the City 2.0 with a grant of $250,000. Knight’s funding is part of its Technology for Engagement Initiative, which funds innovative, digital technologies that inspire civic dialogue and collective community action.

- IBM is helping cities become “smarter” by leveraging information to make better decisions, anticipating problems to resolve them proactively, and coordinating resources to operate effectively. IBM has shared those best practices to help shape the City 2.0 wish and will continue to share public resources via theCity2.org site online.

- Razorfish has contributed to the City 2.0 by building the site www.thecity2.org.
- Autodesk has contributed resources to help citizens visualize and actively create transformation in the cities where they live.
This is just the beginning, and the City 2.0 is looking to other companies, nonprofits and individuals to lend whatever support they can in fulfilling this wish.  Over time, theCity2.org will create an ecosystem of urban action where anyone can start to build his or her future city…now. How our cities change and develop will be seen over time on theCity2.org and in every community where people offer their ideas, visions, skills, and passions.

ABOUT THE TED PRIZE
The first TED Prize was awarded in 2005, born out of the TED Conference and a vision by the world's leading entrepreneurs, innovators, and entertainers to change the world – one wish at a time.
The reward: $100,000, the TED community's array of talent and expertise, and the leadership of a TED Prize team led by Amy Novogratz. What began as an unparalleled experiment to leverage the resources of the TED community to spur global change has evolved into one of the most prestigious prizes.
From Bono's the ONE Campaign ('05 recipient) to Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution ('10 recipient) and JR's Inside Out Project ('11 recipient), the TED Prize is helping to combat poverty, take on religious intolerance, improve global health, tackle child obesity, advance education, and inspire art around the world.
For more information on the TED Prize, visit www.tedprize.org.
 
About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.
TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide, and TEDBooks, short e-books by speakers that elaborate on a single idea originally presented on TED’s stage. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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