More people are living in cities than ever before, and the global urbanization movement is showing no signs of slowing down. By 2008, the number of people living in cities surpassed the amount of people living in rural areas for the first time in history. In terms of sustainability, the inexorable urbanization trend poses both challenges and opportunities for a more eco-friendly future.
With that in mind, innovation group TED announced last week that the $100,000 2012 TED Prize will divided into 10 grants allocated for the top ideas submitted at thecity2.org, a platform where organizers hope to develop an earth-friendly "City 2.0."
According to TED curator Chris Anderson, the unusual move to award the prize to an idea -- as opposed to an individual -- suits the issues raised by urbanization:
It will allow citizens around the world to connect with their neighbors and get to work re-imagining the cities in which they live. And it will allow visionary companies and organizations to share tools and resources to empower those grassroots efforts. The dream is to create cities where innovation, inclusiveness, health, soul and opportunity come together to reset the trajectory of the human race.
We invite mayors, architects, engineers, urban planners, nonprofits, multinational companies and ordinary citizens to use this platform. Already it offers some cool tools and the ability to connect with like-minded souls. But with your participation, it can become something truly amazing.
This is the ultimate design challenge. Hats off to TED for creating the platform for participation. We can't wait to see what people come up with!
Get involved at thecity2.org