Friday 5: TED Talks for Urbanists

TED Talks: Technology Entertainment, DesignYesterday I talked a bit about my experience at the TED 2011 simulcast. I also mentioned that I am a TED talks junkie.

TED: Technology, Entertainment, Design

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design.  The event started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.  It now including talks on such things as urbanism and cities!

In honor of TED 2011, here are 5 of my favorite talks on various aspects of urbanism:

Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia (TEDxAtlanta 2010)

Ellen Dunham-Jones fires the starting shot for the next 50 years’ big sustainable design project: retrofitting suburbia. To come: Dying malls rehabilitated, dead “big box” stores re-inhabited, parking lots transformed into thriving wetlands.

James H Kunstler dissects suburbia (TED2004)

In James Howard Kunstler’s view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.

Jaime Lerner sings of the city (TED2007)

Jaime Lerner reinvented urban space in his native Curitiba, Brazil. Along the way, he changed the way city planners worldwide see what’s possible in the metropolitan landscape.

Steven Johnson on the Web as a city (TED2003)

Steven Johnson says the Web is like a city: built by many people, completely controlled by no one, intricately interconnected and yet functioning as many independent parts. While disaster strikes in one place, elsewhere, life goes on.

Carolyn Steel: How food shapes our cities (TEDGlobal 2009)

Every day, in a city the size of London, 30 million meals are served. But where does all the food come from? Architect Carolyn Steel discusses the daily miracle of feeding a city, and shows how ancient food routes shaped the modern world.

Your Turn

What is your favourite talk about cities?

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise is an experienced policy analyst, community engagement practitioner and social media specialist. I have a Master of Public Administration degree with over 10 years of public policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience.