More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. The UN estimates that between 2011 and 2050 the world population will increase by 2.3 billion – moving from 7 billion to 9.3 billion. Urban areas are expected to absorb almost all of this population growth over the next four decades while at the same time drawing in some of the rural population. Smarter urban development is quickly becoming an urgent international need, and cities are increasing becoming leverage points for addressing global challenges. This requires public participation at the city level. However in many cities across the globe, unchecked development without the regard for public good has been the norm. In many others, urban citizens have traditionally been disconnected from the political decisions that affect the development of the cities that they call home.
But pockets of change makers and cultural entrepreneurs are taking matters into their own hands, finding ways to advocate, organize, and catalyze solutions that shape urban development solutions on things like transportation, pollution, and public space. This is about urban development by and for a cities’ inhabitants.
Purpose hosts a Google Hangout of individuals across the globe who are at the forefront of answering the big question: how do we create smarter cities and better yet, how do get citizens actively involved in doing so?