The Festival of Ideas for the New City, May 4-8, 2011, is a major new collaborative initiative in New York involving scores of downtown organizations working together to harness the power of the creative community to imagine the future city and explore ideas that will shape it. The festival included a three-day slate of symposia; a StreetFest along the Bowery on May 7; and over 100 independent projects and public events which took place on the weekend of May 7 and 8.

The free NYC ARTS iPhone app was the Festival iPhone app.

The festival served as a platform for artists, writers, architects, engineers, designers, urban farmers, planners, and thought leaders to exchange ideas, propose solutions and invite the public to participate.

A conference of symposia, lectures, and workshops with visionaries and leaders— including exemplary mayors, forecasters, architects, artists, economists, and technology experts—addressed the festival themes: The Heterogeneous City; The Networked City; The Reconfigured City; and The Sustainable City. Events took place at The Cooper Union, New York University and the New Museum, Wednesday to Saturday, May 4-7.

An innovative, minimal-waste, outdoor StreetFest took place along the Bowery and its side streets on Saturday, May 7, 11 am-7 pm. Approximately 100 local grassroots organizations, small businesses and arts groups presented model products and practices in a unique outdoor environment.