Why New York City Wants Cleanweb?

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Mayor Bloomberg and NYC Digital produced the first ever City’s First-Ever sustainability hackathon – Reinvent Green – that took place July 30th – July 31st. This was part of the initiative to “RE-INVENT NYC.GOV” and encourage developers and designers to help transform New York City’s website. 

Calling on the expertise, dedication and stamina of the talented technology and design community, the event included over a hundred developers and designers who put in 1000 hours of donated time to help build digital tools and applications to support New Yorkers in leading greener, greater lives.

Why Cleanweb will help “Redesign” NYC

The hackathon was in line with the Mayor’s plan to transform NYC (PlaNYC) into a city that can support 1 million people.

Released in 2007, PlaNYC was an unprecedented effort undertaken by Mayor Bloomberg to prepare the city for one million more residents, strengthen our economy, combat climate change, and enhance the quality of life for all New Yorkers. The Plan brought together over 25 City agencies to work toward the vision of a greener, greater New York.

The PlaNYC has goals for different sectors that affect city living and considerable efforts have been made to achieve these goals. But what cleanweb can do is scale the impact of these efforts and help sustainability reach the masses.

Cleanweb can Engage Communities and Your City’s Sustainability Goals

The city is densely populated, with a high percentage of dwellers connected to a mobile network or smart phone. Why not use this existing infrastructure to take the initiatives you have in place to reach the masses. This is achievable by creating innovative apps that are downloaded to a mobile device. And lo and behold, now you have a city participating in your green efforts. For those new to the cleanweb term,

“CleanWeb” is a category of clean technology that leverages the capability of the internet, social media, and mobile technologies to address resource constraints.  It’s the next stage of development for cleantech.

Cleanweb not only has potential for wide scale impact and adoption, but it also educates the digital generation via a channel that appeals to them the most. NYC did just that through the “Re-invent” Green New York hackathon!

More on the hackathon from our sister site, Cleantechnica.

The city provided several newly released data sets along with the over 1000 data sets already available for public use from the NYC Open Data Portal. Representatives from technology and API partners such as Bitly, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Mapbox, Meetup, Temboo, Tendril, Tumblr, and Twitter were on-hand both days to provided support directly to the 13 competing teams.

After 30 hours of grueling work, a panel of judges composed of various startup and city government professionals evaluated the apps and online tools, and awarded prizes to teams in 5 different categories:

Taking the top prize and title of Judge’s Pick: Green, Greener, Greenest – an online competition between each neighborhood to see which is the greenest.

Winning the award for Best App for Recycling: GreenCan – an app that will let users locate the nearest public recycling trash can, provide info on recycling non-standard items such as electronics, and provide feedback to NYC gov’t regarding recycling initiatives.

Winning the award for Best App for Transportation: BikePool – an app to find people who commute via bike on the same path as you and start riding with them.

Winning the award for Best App for Crowdsourcing: ReBounty – an app that makes finding free stuff more visual, interactive and easier.

Winning the award for Best App for Parks and Public Spaces: FreshFixNYC – an app that locates farmers markets and lists available products and green farmers.

The public will vote on the City of New York’s Facebook Page to decide the sixth and final prize, Popular Choice.

Other awesome ideas included:

Reinvent Lots – a web-based app to create discussion regarding the vacant lots around the five boroughs.

Clean Founders League – a social network with a competitive platform to encourage clean founders to solve the city’s most pressing sustainability issues.

Adopt a Tree – an app that allows people to adopt and care for available trees form the Million Trees NYC Program. People can log their activity and post photos of their progress.

About the Author

Hi there! I am Priti and I specialize in strategy and communications for impact organizations that aim to create social, environmental and economic wealth for all stakeholders. Working from the ground up, I help these do-gooders craft effective programs for community engagement, outreach and profitability. Follow my work covering do-gooders, cleanweb, start-ups and Web 2.0 businesses on Ecopreneurist and at Crowdsourcing Week. I enjoy traveling with my boys, cooking up a gourmet meal from scratch and entertaining! Join my community for Social Entrepreneurs on G+ Follow me on Twitter, on LinkedIn and Google+