If you haven’t heard of City 2.0, you’re not alone. Unless you’re young, hip, or up on the latest tech news, City 2.0 may have slipped right by you. If you want a peek into the future of our cities, you may want to take a moment to learn what City 2.0 is all about. Here’s what you should know about this innovative new platform for urban design :
1. What is City 2.0?
City 2.0 is a website that allows people around the world to share ideas on urban projects and awards innovators with mini-grants to enable those with the best ideas to kick-start their projects. Calling City 2.0 a website may be doing it a disservice; to call it a grass-roots campaign may be more accurate. The curators of TED, or Technology, Entertainment and Design, have described the website as a “big open tent” where people from around the world can share ideas, resources and insights.
2. The Problems with Today’s Cities
If you look at any major city in the world today, you will see that it is riddled with problems. From huge amounts of energy consumption to the inability to support their inhabitants, the cities of the 20th century are quickly becoming outdated and old-fashioned. Instead of designing cities with people in mind, cities have been planned and built around the automobile and around shopping centers, and buildings have been designed around the air conditioner.
3. Who’s Involved in City 2.0?
Virtually every walk of life is represented in City 2.0. From politicians to entrepreneurs, people are sharing innovative ideas that will help bolster existing cities and create better future cities. The first five awards for City 2.0 have been awarded by TED for innovative projects, including an amusement park for children built with plastic water bottles, a crowdsourced map of quiet spaces, and a project that will train citizens to track the flow of water to help stop the spread of cholera.
4. Cities of the Future
Cities of the future must be technologically advanced if they hope to support the citizens of tomorrow in a meaningful way. Rather than making additions to cities that are already standing, City 2.0 allows collaborators to create cities from a blank canvas. One such example is PlanIT Valley in Portugal. The plan includes a city, built by 2015, that contains 100 million sensors that will provide a range of services. Services provided will include smart transit, emergency services dispatching and the monitoring of infrastructure. The planned city boasts the ability to house up to 225,000 people in a technologically-sound, diverse manner.
If we look to the mega-cities of the world like Dubai and Bangkok, we can easily see why things need to change. With the number of people quickly outpacing the supportive capabilities of these cities, there needs to be a major shift in the way that cities are built. With the advent of City 2.0 and its emphasis on crowdsourcing, urban planning may be taking a much needed leap forward.