4 capabilities of a SynchroniCity

There are 61 hours left in our first Maker Cities challenge: SynchroniCity!

You can think of a SynchroniCity as the ultimate Maker Cities, with rapid fabrication, on-demand delivery, a micro-economy of location-based gigs, and a data-based sense of the patterns and daily rhythms of residents.

So how will your city be a SynchroniCity in 2025?

Tell us at http://makercities.net and join the conversation about the future of the world, one SynchroniCity at a time.


Our favorite ideas from day 1 of Maker Cities: SynchroniCity!


We’re thrilled so many players joined for the launch Maker Cities yesterday and the first weekly challenge, called SynchroniCity.  The game is off to a great start, with dozens of exciting ideas coming in from all over the world.  All this week during the SynchroniCity challenge, which runs until Wednesday, January 29th, we’ll be highlighting the best ideas that need your feedback to advance in the game and be eligible to win!

Read through the ideas, find your favorites, and click on them to visit them in the Maker Cities game.

Mood-sensing neighborhoods roads, trains, interactive sidewalks. How might your city be a #SynchroniCity in 2025? makercities.net

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Our top 5 from day 1:

  1. Road Trains: Player tedks imagines a future in between now and a world where all cars are self-driving.  In this intermediary phase, people can link their cars together to create convoys or trains, all ‘driven’ by a single driver at the very front!

  2. Micro-Deliveries: Why have delivery trucks?  All people can be couriers of goods by simply matching their daily task maps with where goods need to go.  If you are planning on driving by the destination of a package, earn a little extra money by dropping it off yourself.

  3. Makerworks Energy A proposal that city buildings should be designed to accommodate maker habits and activities, like rooftop gardening, so that basically every building can contribute to the energy grid and be, in essence, a maker factory.  It’s interesting to consider what a Maker City would look like designed from the ground up.

  4. Collective Moods Player Alina combines the power of sensors, personal tech, and social networks to imagine a SynchroniCity in which neighborhoods can react to the collective ‘mood’ of everybody who lives there by spontaneously organizing parties or games.

  5. Sidewalk/Crosswalk Communities: Krash63 points out how a SynchroniCity could use immersive experiences, pop-up events and more that would make walking down the street an exciting and powerful experience, making walking a more appealing option than driving.

Which idea do you like best?  What challenges might keep these futures from coming true?  Click on your favorite to provide your feedback in Maker Cities.


Synchronicity Challenge

Welcome to Maker Cities Challenge #1!

What do open data, social networks, embedded sensors, and mobile devices have in common?  Together, they make the SyncroniCity possible– a future city where civic hackers and empowered citizens can program their city from the ground up.

In a SynchroniCity, what we now call chance encounters will be designed. College students with an hour to spare get notified about quick delivery jobs right around the corner. Shoppers order goods for on-the-go delivery by automated drones.

Here’s your chance to make the future of your city: makercities.net

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In a SyncroniCity, open data enables makers to work on a whole new scale–creating new public experiences.  Apps can be built directly on top of the city as a platform. You could make a Happy Birthday app that taps into public displays to wish your friend Happy Birthday, and easily organize a crowd to reenact their favorite movie scenes as a gift.

Your challenge: How would you tap into the SyncroniCity?  What would you design, and how would you solve old problems in new ways?  

All this week we invite you to join the Maker Cities community and submit your ideas in the game. A few things to keep in mind:

  • Be sure to include the word SyncroniCity somewhere in your idea so other players can find it and support your idea.
  • Don’t forget to explore other players’ ideas and provide feedback.  Once an idea gets enough support, it moves on the final make stage, in which all players are invited to create prototypes of the idea–anything from low-fi hand-drawn diagrams, to interface mockups, even Arduino projects!

How to win:

At the end of the week, we’ll choose a winner and top 5 for three categories: best ideas, best prototypes, and best collaborators.  We’ll announce winners on this blog and on Institute for the Future’s Facebook page and Twitter (@iftf).

Start today! Sign up at makercities.net and make the future of your city!

About the game: Maker Cities is a massively multiplayer game that empowers you, the players, to imagine and make the future of your city. In the game, you submit your ideas about how the maker movement might impact society at large in the near future: how we learn, govern, eat and live. The best ideas and prototypes will win awards at the end of every weekly challenge. Our first weekly challenge is called Syncronicity.


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