Prototype quickly. Scale what works. Make cities better, faster.

In 2011, as part of Summer of Smart, we hosted a series of six interconnected events designed to prototype solutions to urban challenges and promote civic dialog. The events spanned three months, addressing a wide variety of themes ranging from public art to transportation to food access. All in all, over 400 participants spent over 10,000 hours prototyping 23 new projects.

In 2012, we took our learnings from Summer of Smart and developed them into a new global initiative, Urban Prototyping (UP), which we began in summer of 2012. UP uses a similar process of rapidly testing and scaling projects to improve cities, but engages with challenges related to the physical as well as digital environments of cities.

In 2013, we are taking our initiatives around the world. More than 20 cities have asked us to take our experiments to their streets. We are committed to bring the Urban Prototyping™ Festival to 2 cities a year through 2015; allowing art, design, and technology to serve as tools for civic participation. We have already produced festivals in Singapore and San Francisco, with the third event happening in London in April 2013. Each year, UP:San Francisco will showcase the best projects in the field from our core Bay Area community and from around the world. The program fostered 23 new projects and the street festival had over 5,000 citizens in attendance.

Meet some of the people and projects behind San Francisco’s 2012 Urban Prototyping Festival. An initiative of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, in partnership with Intersection for the Arts, 5M Project, Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, in collaboration with IDEO and Rebar.

Urban Prototyping is a global movement exploring how rapidly-prototyped design, art, and technology projects can improve cities. UP Festivals are being held around the world to inspire and showcase the next generation of creative projects that address local issues.

Make a pledge today to support initiatives like Urban Prototyping in 2013 and beyond.