Smarter Cities: Crowdsourcing Ideas for Urban Innovation

What makes your city the next big smart city? That's exactly what Next American City, a nonprofit quarterly magazine advocating for urban sustainability, is asking in a new partnership with IBM's Smarter Planet initiative.


Smarter Cities is a month-long project inviting people to share ideas for the smarter cities they want to live in, then help build them. Between August 9 and September 15, Smarter Cities is crowdsourcing examples of and ideas for citizen- and community-driven urban innovation ranging from open data to alternative transportation to urban farming and everything in between.

So far, submissions include everything from a mobile app for finding and reporting civic issues to a documentary about the formation of America's first great city parks in the late 19th century to a roundup of history's top 20 urban planning successes. As the project progresses, it would be interesting to see whether it transcends the realm of mere information-sharing and yields any actionable implementation of these ideas and innovations across more cities.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

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