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  3. 2012 TED Prize Winner: The City 2.0’s Wish has been Revealed!

2012 TED Prize Winner: The City 2.0’s Wish has been Revealed!

2012 TED Prize Winner: The City 2.0’s Wish has been Revealed!

For the first time in history, the annual TED Prize was not awarded to an individual, but rather an idea that will greatly influence the future of our planet. The City 2.0 is the city of the future in which more than ten billion people are dependent on. Since the announcement in early December, visionaries’ world-wide have provided their input to help determine the city’s “one wish to change the world”. TED will provide $100,000 to help make it happen. Live, at the TED2012 Full Spectrum conference in Long Beach, California, the wish has been revealed! Continue reading to learn more.

The live TED session began by updating the world on the progress past recipients have made with their wish. Dr. Cynthia Parr updated us about E.O. Wilson’s wish: The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). As of this week, EOL contains information on almost a million species, all in which is free to use and re-use. Then Arfon Smith took the stage to describe SETILIVE, an interactive site that allows you to participate in the search for intelligent life on other planets, and Sylvia Earle’s 2009 wish MISSIONBLUE which is a global coalition of partners all aimed at increasing ocean protection and restoring its health. Lastly, the 2011 TED Prize winner, JR, gave an update on his global art project, Inside Out, that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work.

Now, onto the 2012 TED Prize opening. Edward Glaesar, Harvard economist and author of The Triumph of the City, took the stage setting the context for the City 2.0. Glaesar states, “At their heart, cities are the absence of physical space between people.” We are a social species that thrive on being surrounded by other people. In the complex age of globalization and new technologies, the need for face to face contact is critical. He believes that cities are the friend of the environment and the key to a sustainable future.

© JR/Agence VU
© JR/Agence VU

Following Glaesar’s incredibly informative speech, Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, discussed his city and the fact that you do not always have to be “rich and powerful” to get things started. He shared four commandments that are necessary for the city of the future.

Eduardo Paes 4 Commandments for the City of the Future: present

In contrast to Mayor Paes efforts to evolve the existing city of Rio, Suja Lowenthal, Vice Mayor of Long Beach, discussed the power of collaboration and storytelling as she describe her involvement in the creation of a new South African City named Free State.

And now… the wish!

The City 2.0 has wished to create a unique platform created by the TED Prize to allow citizens anywhere to participate in the creation of their City 2.0. It will become an ever-expanding network of citizen-led experiments, with the ability to scale successes and learn lessons from failures.

The idea is to empower and connect citizens worldwide so they may join each other in creating our future cities. Together, we can create a better world.

CITY 2.0 needs:

  • Local individuals to form groups and begin activating around their city
  • Companies and organizations willing to offer resources
  • Connections to governments and data sets
  • Technology partners
  • Editor(s) / researcher(s) to seek out examples of what’s working
  • Media campaign
  • Media space
  • Financial support

TED Prize will be divvying up the $100,000 award into ten $10,000 grants to support local projects that will improve their cities. More information to come.

Join the initiative and become a part of the ever-growing resource that will guide the city of the future. Register today at

City 2.0 Website City 2.0 Twitter City 2.0 Facebook

Watch the TED Prize wish video.

About this author
Karissa Rosenfield

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Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "2012 TED Prize Winner: The City 2.0’s Wish has been Revealed! " 29 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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