Piers Fawkes: About The My Ideal City Project & How You Can Contribute

Piers Fawkes: About The My Ideal City Project & How You Can Contribute

PSFK helps launch MyIdealCity, a crowdsourced plan to redesign a city in South America.

Piers Fawkes, PSFK
  • 7 april 2013

A team of partners have launched a global conversation that will lead to a real plan to redevelop a city. The foundation to this project is The My Ideal City site which is a place to for conversation for everyday people around trends in urban living across the world. The discussion will ultimately inspire a redevelopment plan that will presented to city planners in Bogota.

Over the next six months, W Radio in Bogota and will be discussing trends around the future of the city in Spanish and English respectively. Each week both parties will discuss the same urban living trend – and each day we will ask our audiences to respond to the same questions via Twitter and on The answers to these questions will be gathered and later reviewed by architect Winka Dubbeldam and urban planner Gary Hack as they work on a plan to redevelop a neighborhood in downtown Bogota.

If this project is successful, we hope to create the same conversation in other cities who want to run the same program.

Why Are We Doing This?

Cities in developing countries like Bogota have grown rapidly over the past years and its infrastructure has not been able to keep pace. This has created problems with mobility, security and housing that complicate daily life for the city’s residents. These problems are part of a vicious circle without any apparent solution and government corruption only makes matters worse.

While city planners present various broad renovation proposals to overcome the problems facing cities, these developers have never included the public’s input in a participative manner. The lack of political consensus, permanence of the problem and shortage of commitment from the public have planted a seed of apathy that has turned into complete inaction at a time when inspiration should flourish.

The Solution To The Future Of The City: Participation is Key

By taking advantage of advancements in social networking and crowdsourcing across the Internet, it is possible for the first time for everyone to participate in global discussions.

Citizens can join in discussions they’re interested in and share ideas with experts in urbanism, architecture and planning to test their validity.

The key is citizen participation.

Until now, there has never been a massive participation of an affected group of people taking a stand and working together to create a solution much greater than a simple urban plan.

Through the My Ideal City project, this basic, yet revolutionary idea will make a huge difference to the average Bogotano – and to people living in cities around the world. It will reinvigorate their sense of collective pride and spark them into action through participation.

My Ideal City will ultimately generate a proposal for the Bogota of the future that will be created by the people and for the people.

How Will My Ideal City Work?

In simple terms, a drive-time show on W Radio will serve as a call to action for people to visit a community website ( where material created by PSFK will be hosted. PSFK has searched the entire planet for trends, themes and ideas that will inspire the future development of the future of cities.

Questions have been generated around weekly topics and both PSFK and W Radio will invite their audiences to the My Ideal City website with crowdsourcing systems. Questions include, ‘What abandoned spaces in your city or neighborhood would you revitalize and turn into recreational or sport areas?‘ and ‘What space within the city could be used to develop urban agriculture?‘.

The results will be  be collected by a group of curators and added to a proposal for a formal urban renovation for Bogotaw ith the objective of implementing it in the best possible way.

Who is Involved in My Ideal City?

BD Promotores Colombia. My Ideal City’s only sponsor is an international real estate development company based in Spain with a Colombian presence and over 20 years of experience in this field. Venerando Lamelas is the company’s principal partner. He is a philanthropist and the founder of BD Bacata, a building that has become a symbol of My Ideal City and also the joining force of all Colombians as a pillar of national pride and world recognition.

Winka Dubbeldam. Lead architect, founder of Archi-Tectonics, and dean of the University of Pennsylvania’s master’s program in Philadelphia. Mrs. Dubbeldam has been a fundamental part of the project’s strategy and is in charge of the urban redevelopment proposal.

Gary Hack. Architect, urban designer and planning expert with vast international experience in planning large revitalization projects and urban development such as Battery Park City and the new World Trade Center in New York. He is also a professor emeritus at MIT and has designed cities for the Chinese government. Mr. Hack is in charge of the overall vision for the proposal’s open spaces.

Prodigy Network. Real estate marketing and development company based on Wall Street with outlets in Miami and Bogota. Its projects are the best in all of their markets and are recognized for their inspirational qualities. Rodrigo Niño, Prodigy Network’s president, is the creator and director of My Ideal City.

W Radio Colombia. Radio broadcaster emitting 24 hour programming of opinion and change with a presence in five countries and an unparalleled team of journalists. Julio Sánchez, Alberto Casas, Isabel Salazar, Carlos Montoya y Jorge Hernán Peláez will be the voices of My Ideal City during La Hora del Regreso. Julio Sanchez and his team are known for championing causes for the common good with a great community impact. with PSFK Labs. Thought leadership company for organizations such as Apple, BMW and UNICEF with leadership in innovation and generating change. inspires over one million visitors each month. PSFK Labs is in charge of international investigations and original content creation.

Syndicate Media Group. Founder and partner Nima Abbasi has contributed social media strategy and services for brands like Evian, Veuve Clicquot, Oscar de la Renta, Remy Martin, Vogue y Tom Ford. Mr. Abbasi is in charge of getting the international community involved in the initiative.

Dasigno. Founded 12 years ago by Ángel Tíjaro Sarmiento, a businessman with experience in planning, creativity and platform application management for leading Latin American companies such as Móvil, Nokia, Kraft and MTV. Mr. Tíjaro is a Colombian expert with a high level of crowdsourcing experience and is in charge of building the technological platform.

Over the next 6 months, we want to start a conversation around what you envision as ‘My Ideal City’. Stay tuned each week to and for new ideas around the future of the city.

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