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  • 12 TED Talks for Planners

    TED, an acronym for "Technology, Entertainment and Design", is a series of conferences formed to spread "ideas worth spreading". TED's mission statement is:

    "We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we're building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other."

    TED conferences include a number of TED Talks by influential presenters on a variety of subjects. The popularity of TED spread when TED Talks were made available online, and a growing number of TEDx events were organized in cities throughout the world. Until recently, the talks focused on technology, multimedia, science and design. With awareness of issues related to the built environment coming to the forefront in recent years, it was inevitable that urban planning and urbanism would become the subject of many TED Talks. Here's 12 planning-related Talks as an introduction to what TED offers. Unfortunately, they aren't eligible for AICP CE credits.

    Robert Neuwirth on our shadow cities
    Robert Neuwirth, author of Shadow Cities, finds the world’s squatter sites, where a billion people now make their homes, to be thriving centers of ingenuity and innovation.

    Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto
    Majora Carter details her fight for environmental justice in the South Bronx, and shows how minority neighborhoods suffer most from flawed urban policy.

    Jaime Lerner sings of the city
    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.

    Rob Forbes on ways of seeing
    Rob Forbes, the founder of Design Within Reach, shows a gallery of snapshots that inform his way of seeing the world. Rob Forbes presents charming juxtapositions, found art, and urban patterns you thought only you noticed as a planner.

    Ellen Dunham-Jones: Retrofitting suburbia
    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.

    Geoffrey West: The surprising math of cities and corporations
    Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities — that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city’s population. He shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations.
    Comments 6 Comments
    1. JNA's avatar
      JNA -
      clicking on the link I get

      you do not have permission to access this page. This could be due to one of several reasons:
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    1. Dan's avatar
      Dan -
      It'll appear tomorrow at 6:00 AM.
    1. Mud Princess's avatar
      Mud Princess -

      Or did you mean Pacific Standard Time?
    1. Dan's avatar
      Dan -
      Eastern. Still working out viewing permissions in the new content management system.
    1. dw914er's avatar
      dw914er -
      I always loved the Majora Carter one. Thanks for the great collection of videos!
    1. Dan's avatar
      Dan -
      You're welcome! TED now has a Power of Cities video channel. Not everything there is planning-related, but it shows that the offerings of TED are growing more diverse.