50 Ideas for the New City

The Omnibus is all about ideas. From the beginning, Urban Omnibus has been a showcase of good ideas for the future of cities, conceived in the public interest and tried and tested in the five boroughs of New York. Our ongoing commitment to that is part of why we jumped at the chance to participate in and help organize the Festival of Ideas for the New City, coming up soon from May 4-8. The Festival aims to harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore ideas that will shape it. It’s a perfect fit. So, to coincide with the event, we have decided to surface some of the ideas that have appeared on Urban Omnibus over the past two years and broadcast them around the city.

Starting early next week, look out for a series of Idea Posters on fences, scaffolds and storefronts from Jamaica, Queens to the Upper West Side of Manhattan. This Saturday, April 23, get a first look at them in person at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, where Urban Omnibus Editor Cassim Shepard will be hanging out all day, discussing the future of the urban landscape with whoever will listen. Come on down and say hi!

These fantastic posters (seen below) are designed by Civic Center, a New Orleans-based firm whose principals, James Reeves and Candy Chang, were part of the team that designed UrbanOmnibus.net and have each contributed features and forum posts to the site. These days they can be found engaging with a range of inspiring projects in public art, civic engagement and contemplation of the American landscape.

With this poster campaign, we want to turn the language of ubiquitous marketing — in which every bus, taxi or construction barrier is a canvas for advertising anything and everything — on its head by using a similar language to share examples of creativity and innovation in the urban realm. We want to spread these ideas to the whole city. And we want to hear your new ideas too. So starting next week, (now live!) at UrbanOmnibus.net/Ideas you will find 50 ideas for New York already explored on Urban Omnibus and a space for you to share one of your own. We hope, in some small way, we can help re-enchant the urban environment as a landscape of possibility, a realm of action and intention, and a place that represents — and deserves — a long and evolving history of creative ideas.

UPDATE August 2011: These posters are now being offered as a thank you gift when you donate to Urban Omnibus! Find more information here.

Capture the energy of people going about their day

Use public space to share ideas and start a conversation

Use natural systems to support the city's infrastructure

Make subdivisions safe and legal

Make fire hydrants the anchors of temporary mini-parks

Consider public transit options beyond road and rail

The views expressed here are those of the authors only and do not reflect the position of The Architectural League of New York.


mab April 26, 2011

How can I purchase a print (or two!)? These are great!

Cassim Shepard April 28, 2011

mab, we’ll be sure to let UO readers know when the posters become available for purchase. Thanks! – Cassim, UO

Kristen Carney May 3, 2011

I vote +1 for a follow up post on how to execute on these 50 ideas. How can we take them from ideas on a webpage to reality?

Angela May 5, 2011

I agree with mab…great posters and would love to get hold of them to inspire the workplace! Please let us know when available

Suzette Jackson May 9, 2011

Great way to engage with the community. Thanks

Daryl @ solar energy Sarasota July 5, 2011

I like #3 Capture the energy of people going about their day. The image of the rotating doors certainly makes me think of a gerbil on his exercise wheel.

Varick Shute August 3, 2011

Hi everyone — the posters are now available! Find out more here: http://urbanomnibus.net/2011/08/omnibus-idea-posters-now-available/

Thanks for your interest,

Varick, UO