Fast Company Names 12 “World Changing Ideas” From Chicago to the Bay Area – Next City

Fast Company Names 12 “World Changing Ideas” From Chicago to the Bay Area

Rendering of a redesigned Cook County bond court (Credit: CannonDesign)

Last year, Fast Company announced the World Changing Ideas Awards, a competition to highlight innovators in the categories of urban design, transportation, energy, health and food, among others. This week, the media company named 12 winners — and their ideas range from a courtroom redesign to reducing single-occupancy vehicle commuting in the car-loving Bay Area.

Competition judges included Allison Arieff, editorial director of SPUR, Aaron Naparstek, founder of Streetsblog, Judith Rodin, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Ravi Naidoo, founder and managing director of Interactive Africa. Entries were “judged on their scope, their impact and potential impact, their scalability, their originality, and their creativity,” according to Fast Company.

The Bay Area Fair Value Commuting calls for an app that aggregates mobility services.

The winner in the transportation category is a plan called Bay Area Fair Value Commuting, developed by Joint Venture Silicon Valley, a nonprofit that helped put together this new report laying out a vision for a better bike network in that region. Bay Area Fair Value Commuting would involve cities, transit agencies, mobility service providers and businesses, and provide incentives for “shared commuting by aggregating mobility services like Lyft and Car2Go in a single platform,” according to Fast Company, while fining single-occupancy vehicle commuters. The plan aims to reduce single-occupancy vehicle commuting in the Bay Area by 25 percent.

In the category of urban design, the Cook County Bond Court (which Next City covered last year) took home the blue ribbon. That idea, which comes from CannonDesign, is to improve fairness in bond court by re-mapping the physical space — improving acoustics, minimizing distracting movement and featuring “signage that clearly explains the bond ruling process to family members waiting in the corridor outside,” Fast Company explains.

Grid OS, from Opus One Solutions, won the energy category. With the understanding that distributed energy (think wind, solar) can be a challenge for grid operators, Grid OS is a data analysis software that models what’s happening “inside” the grid in real time. According to Fast Company, it’s “a better way of managing the impact of clean energy on the grid.”

See the full list of winners here.

Rachel Dovey is an award-winning freelance writer and former USC Annenberg fellow living at the northern tip of California’s Bay Area. She writes about infrastructure, water and climate change and has been published by Bust, Wired, Paste, SF Weekly, the East Bay Express and the North Bay Bohemian.

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Tags: urban planningurban design