Citizens Submit Winning Ideas to Improve Their Cities | People 4 Smarter Cities

When ordinary people make an effort to change the world for the better, something extraordinary is bound to happen. Which is why IBM’s People for Smarter Cities, in a partnership with the video crowdsourcing platform Zooppa, asked citizens around the world for ideas on making cities smarter.

Citizens Submit Winning Ideas to Improve Their Cities | People 4 Smarter Cities

When ordinary people make an effort to change the world for the better, something extraordinary is bound to happen. Which is why IBM’s People for Smarter Cities, in a partnership with the video crowdsourcing platform Zooppa, asked citizens around the world for ideas on making cities smarter.

These Smart Umbrellas Measure Rainfall Data For Meteorologists (And Send It Back To The Cloud) | FastCompany
A team of Dutch scientists wants to use the crowd instead, by turning umbrellas into mini weather-monitoring stations. Every time it rains, smart umbrellas would use sensors to detect falling drops, and then use Bluetooth to send a report to a smartphone app. As people walk around with umbrellas throughout a city during a storm, each app would send in data to a central system where meteorologists could use it to come up with better predictions.

These Smart Umbrellas Measure Rainfall Data For Meteorologists (And Send It Back To The Cloud) | FastCompany

A team of Dutch scientists wants to use the crowd instead, by turning umbrellas into mini weather-monitoring stations. Every time it rains, smart umbrellas would use sensors to detect falling drops, and then use Bluetooth to send a report to a smartphone app. As people walk around with umbrellas throughout a city during a storm, each app would send in data to a central system where meteorologists could use it to come up with better predictions.

These Massive Mirrored Dishes Could Make Solar Cheaper For All | FastCompany
So much sunlight hits the Earth each day that the world’s entire electricity needs could be met by harvesting only 2% of the solar energy in the Sahara Desert. Of course, using solar power as the world’s only energy source hasn’t been possible yet, in part because solar equipment is expensive to make (and getting the power out of the desert would be no easy feat, either). But researchers at IBM think they’re one step closer to making solar universally accessible with a low-cost system that can concentrate the sunlight by 2,000 times.

These Massive Mirrored Dishes Could Make Solar Cheaper For All | FastCompany

So much sunlight hits the Earth each day that the world’s entire electricity needs could be met by harvesting only 2% of the solar energy in the Sahara Desert. Of course, using solar power as the world’s only energy source hasn’t been possible yet, in part because solar equipment is expensive to make (and getting the power out of the desert would be no easy feat, either). But researchers at IBM think they’re one step closer to making solar universally accessible with a low-cost system that can concentrate the sunlight by 2,000 times.

How Chicago Is Building a Better City With Big Data | People For Smarter Cities
Urban design is no longer just for architects and city planners: Citizens also are getting into the act.
Chicago is one example of how data collected from residents transforms urban design. The project’s aim is to highlight how data generated by citizens can be used to make cities a better place to live. Where does this information come from? It can be gathered from sensors on water pipes that detect leaks, for one. Or it could be as simple as data culled from city-to-citizen social-media engagement. Armed with this, architects, planners and engineers can draw up, create and implement programs in areas such as public safety and transportation that are designed to improve residents’ quality of life.

How Chicago Is Building a Better City With Big Data | People For Smarter Cities

Urban design is no longer just for architects and city planners: Citizens also are getting into the act.

Chicago is one example of how data collected from residents transforms urban design. The project’s aim is to highlight how data generated by citizens can be used to make cities a better place to live. Where does this information come from? It can be gathered from sensors on water pipes that detect leaks, for one. Or it could be as simple as data culled from city-to-citizen social-media engagement. Armed with this, architects, planners and engineers can draw up, create and implement programs in areas such as public safety and transportation that are designed to improve residents’ quality of life.

humanscalecities:

What is BCN | Open Challenge?
Barcelona City Council and Citymart announce an international call for businesses and entrepreneurs to propose their innovative solutions to six different challenges to transform public space and services in the city.

As a radical departure from many competitions, the BCN|Open Challenge is a direct commitment to contract the winning solutions. Winners of many urban competitions receive an award or the opportunity to pilot. Barcelona is breaking this mould by using public contracting to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Within the framework of the economic development initiative Barcelona Growth, BCN|Open Challenge is a new programme opening up the city administration to SMEs from around the world to transform public services. By seeking solutions to the city’s challenges with a more inclusive process, Barcelona will accelerate innovation and leverage public spending more effectively to deliver better public services. For the first time, public procurement directly focuses on innovation providers, leading to faster, stronger local economic growth and tangible improvements in citizens’ lives.

The six challenges are:
1. Reducing bicycle thefts in the city
2. Empowering support systems to reduce social isolation
3. Monitoring pedestrian flows in the city
4. Tools for digitisation of museum and archive collections
5. Automatic detection and alerts of damaged road surfaces
6. Empowering local retail through technology

humanscalecities:

What is BCN | Open Challenge?

Barcelona City Council and Citymart announce an international call for businesses and entrepreneurs to propose their innovative solutions to six different challenges to transform public space and services in the city.

As a radical departure from many competitions, the BCN|Open Challenge is a direct commitment to contract the winning solutions. Winners of many urban competitions receive an award or the opportunity to pilot. Barcelona is breaking this mould by using public contracting to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and the growth of small and medium enterprises.

Within the framework of the economic development initiative Barcelona Growth, BCN|Open Challenge is a new programme opening up the city administration to SMEs from around the world to transform public services. By seeking solutions to the city’s challenges with a more inclusive process, Barcelona will accelerate innovation and leverage public spending more effectively to deliver better public services. For the first time, public procurement directly focuses on innovation providers, leading to faster, stronger local economic growth and tangible improvements in citizens’ lives.

The six challenges are:

1. Reducing bicycle thefts in the city

2. Empowering support systems to reduce social isolation

3. Monitoring pedestrian flows in the city

4. Tools for digitisation of museum and archive collections

5. Automatic detection and alerts of damaged road surfaces

6. Empowering local retail through technology