#UrbanNomads @TEDCity2_0

How to adapt cities as growing numbers are forced to the lifeboats




Version 0.12

TED Prize 2012: City 2.0


An Old Problem Getting Worse

  • Soaring structural unemployment.
  • Increasing institutional labor disruption, displacement, obsolescence.
  • Discarded people are taking to the lifeboats, any way they can.
  • Soaring success + increasing inequality.
  • People can't afford shelter in the neighborhoods where they serve US.
  • Local crackdowns kick the can down the road. Not very neighborly.

City 2.0: Innovate Civic Solutions




Global Impact Investing: $8B USD

Local Impact Opportunity

  • Saner, more humanitarian policies.
  • Lower costs, better service effectiveness.
  • Greater understanding, less conflict.
  • Improved social mobility, fewer 'stuck' cases.
  • Increased inclusion, integration, improves city vibe.

Scenario: Park Blvd @ Page Mill

Research/Office Park : Office, research, and manufacturing establishments whose operations are buffered from adjacent residential uses. Stanford Research Park is an example. Other uses that may be included are educational institutions and child care facilities. Compatible commercial service uses such as banks and restaurants, and residential or mixed uses that would benefit from the proximity to employment centers, will also be allowed. Additional uses, including retail services, restaurants, commercial recreation, churches, and private clubs may also be located in Research/Office Park areas, but only if they are found to be compatible with the surrounding area through the conditional use permit process. Maximum allowable floor area ratio ranges from 0.3 to 0.5, depending on site conditions.

Locate Favorable Locations & Zoning


  • Not in my neighborhood / back yard.
  • Who pays? How much?
  • Who maintains & secures?
  • We can't afford more entitlements.
    • Yet, I'm entitled to my accelerating affluence.
  • Liability, liability, liability.
  • Bottom Line: our pet concerns tend to trump the entirety of humanity's needs, then we wonder why nothing improves.

Making Room that Makes Sense

@wwjimd So far, the main differences I notice between having a house and not having one is that I have a lot more money and a lot less to clean.

All concerns and feeling are valid. At the same time, we are solving a humanitarian crises that requires mature hearts and minds. TANSTAAFL, right?

Customer Concerns

  • Not safe
  • Too expensive
  • Too many rules
  • Too many agencies breathing down my neck
  • Too much noise, crime, hassle
  • Universal dignity, respect

Basic Space Layout

Parcel Size:

420' x 260'

= 109,200 sf

Space Size:

19'x 45'

= 855 sf


25' wide

Simplified Business Model

Not to Scale


4 rows of 22

88-102 mixed-use spaces
(vehicles / tents)

restrooms, showers

2 dump sites




@ 90% capacity

Finance Scenario:

  • $1M development
  • 8 year payback @ $10K/mo.

"You have to give people a vision, a goal, something attainable, as a first stepping stone."

-Homeless Willie,

19 years homeless

in Silicon Valley

21st Century Business Models


Why B?


The Road to a New Economy


Identify & Confirm Potential Parcels

#HackPaloAlto #UrbanNomads @TEDCity2_0 - Google Slides