An ‘idea worth spreading’: The City 2.0

The Technology Entertainment and Design (TED) conferences have captivated many individuals from different generations with their innovative and wide-reaching talks. Every year, TED awards a $100,000 prize to one or more individuals, in order to help them in granting their ‘wish’ to change the world.

However, this year, the TED Prize will not reward a particular individual, but a concept instead. As the world now accommodates 7 billion inhabitants and more than half of these people reside in cities, TED wants their annual prize to reflect the importance of urban sustainability. The TED Prize will be awarded to The City 2.0 concept.

Cities are on the forefront of addressing climate change issues, as they are responsible for the majority of global carbon emissions but also remain vulnerable to the impacts and consequences associated with climate change. The City 2.0 is the city of future where the growing city populations must somehow find a way to live sustainably.

The visionary individuals chosen for the City 2.0 TED Prize will be revealed on February 29th 2012.  The Prize will be awarded to visionary individuals who are advocating sustainable solutions for expanding cities across the globe.

These individuals will be urban planners, architects, technologists, authors, policy makers and economists. The idea behind awarding a prize to a concept such as this one lies in TED’s wish to inspire “millions of people around the world to contribute to one of the biggest challenges and opportunities humanity faces”.

TED’s City 2.0 concept is a city of the future that is characterized as:  

         - Not a sterile utopian dream but a real-world upgrade tapping into humanity’s collective wisdom.

         - One that promotes innovation, education, culture, and economic opportunity

         - One that reduces the carbon footprint of its occupants, facilitates smaller families, and eases the environmental pressure on the world’s rural areas.

         - A place of beauty, wonder, excitement, inclusion, diversity, life.

         - The city that works.

In a similar fashion, Earth Day Network perceives the importance of involving cities in the global environmental discourse. More and more, cities are directing themselves towards achieving sustainability.

Last year, Earth Day Network’s Global Day of Conversation successfully convened close to thousand elected officials in the U.S. and in 14 countries to discuss and promote sustainable innovations their city was able to accomplish in the previous year. This underlines the power that elected officials hold in encouraging cities towards a more sustainable path. 

Each year, Earth Day Network coordinates Earth Day events (April 22nd) in cities across the globe, in order to celebrate the Earth, but also to raise awareness about sustainability issues.

For more information, on this year’s Campaign for Community (previously known as Global Day of Conversation), please click here

If you would like to organize an Earth Day event in your city on April 22nd, please visit the Earth Day 2012 page.