New Yorkers Get Government-Sponsored Hackathon to be more Sustainable
By Tayyab Shaikh
Last weekend, the Mayor’s Office and NYC Digital hosted the first Cleanweb Sustainability Hackathon at NYU-Poly in Downtown Brooklyn. Over 100 programmers, developers, and business strategists created teams and competed against one another to build applications or web startups to make sustainable choices easier for New York City residents.
The event kicked off with words of advice from Rachel Sterne, the Chief Digital Officer of the City of New York, and Tyler Mincey, the Co-Founder of Brooklyn Beta.
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 comprised 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.
Congratulations to all the teams that participated, and the time and prizes donated by private and public sponsors this weekend!
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