If you had asked our team to predict the kind of work that would emerge from our call for urban innovation back in February, we never could have imagined the brilliant, wide-ranging projects that have emerged. The City2.0 awards, thus far, feature an eclectic mix of passionate urban entrepreneurs: artists, tech geeks, designers, youth organizers, makers, and professors. They are building amusement parks, DIY community centers, crowdsourced maps of “sonic health,” and citizen-led data collection on unsafe sanitation. They hail from Australia, Brazil, Pakistan, and the U.K.
Ruganzu Bruno Tusingwire plans to turn thousands of plastic water bottles into an amusement park for children, an idea he first started exploring as a student at Kyambogo University. Tusingwire is an eco-artist, invested in making art that is more than beautiful, but enriches the lives of the young people in his country.
What would it look if cities were built by the 99% for the 99%? That’s the question that drove two London-based designers to create Wikihouse—instructions for modern day “barn raising” built on open source philosophies. Wikihouse will team up with Rio-based organization, Dharma, to see what happens when the favela’s most enterprising youth collectively build community centers and their own bright futures.
Australian sound and video artist Jason Sweeney believes that cities have long underestimated the importance of “sonic health.” He will create a crowdsourced map of quiet places where introverts, people with disabilities, and those who simply crave some quiet can find refuge. Cities are noisy places, he admits, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t also harbor spots of calm.
Tech entrepreneurs Asim Fayaz, Omer Sheikh, and Khurram Siddiqi are going to help those lost in Lahore find their way again by installing and maintaining old-fashioned road signs signage. Their hope is to demonstrate to government officials, as well as the local citizens, that the notoriously unmarked and unpredictable streets of Lahore don’t have to be so perplexing.
Senior TED Fellow and TEDxIslamabad organizer Faisal Chohan is determined to stymie the spread of cholera–which still affects far too many of his country mates. Chohan and his team will train everyday citizens to map the flow of water in their local areas and put political pressure on local governments to do better.
Congrats to all of our amazing winners. Please consider applying for the next $10,000 award for your project aimed at urban transformation here.