Ideas for Cities: Show City
The city could be a theater. Every citizen could be a writer, an actor, a director, and a stage-hand. Cities would match up those with experience with those who have more to learn and who could inspire each other. Life in the city would be a perpetual invitation to try and learn. It could be a reality webcast, a living competition in which people play and win every day. Show City would feature some fun and fascinating activities to engage every player: Speakers Corner—designated corners littered throughout the city to voice an opinion or demonstrate a talent; teach something you know. Fireside chats: The oral history of our players, our city, our rituals is told face to face in open city spaces, captured and shared across media platforms; everyone is a storyteller and an audience. The Big read: A book mobile and book exchange; writers group to support others as they write their own script. Pianists on the Corners: Unexpected instruments like pianos are permanent fixtures on the streets for musicians to create a soundtrack for the city. Anyone who can play is invited to play—music is captured and available on iTunes by “street corner.” Library “Experiments”: Cities could repurposed public libraries as laboratories to learn and try new things. Open studios and workshops would be available 24/7 like an improvisational open mic.
This is part 44 of a continuing brainstorm on the future of cities, inaugurated at the CEOs for Cities Velocity conference in September, 2009. We’ll post a new idea each day until we run out, at which point we’re counting on you to come up with something smart. Do you have a good idea for improving your city? Add it in the comments below, or tweet it to @GOOD with hashtag #cityideas—we’ll publish the best ones. Tomorrow's idea: City Talent Agency.