For the first time, the 2012 TED prize has been given not to an individual but to an idea: The City 2.0. With half of Earth’s population already living in urban centers, and that number expected to grow, fewer issues could be more important in the years ahead. “Cities are the great hope for our future,” said Chris Anderson, curator of TED. While thinking of who to award this year’s prize to, the answer slowly became clear: “This theme of the importance of cities for the future of planet earth kept coming up.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The purpose of the TED prize is to ‘ignite a massive collaboration project’ which, in the case of cities, will not mean designing yet another utopian vision of the future. Instead, a panel of experts in the areas of architecture, the economy, urban planning and social science will be consulted about how to make current cities better. The panel will be given a ‘wish’ as well as $100,000 to help make that wish come true. “The exact wish—and the panel of experts crafting it—will be revealed at the 2012 TED conference in Long Beach on February 29.”