Improving City Life with Crowdsourcing Apps Contest

Published Sep-08-14

A mobile app-based sharing service wins a prestigious contest that looked for the world’s best new urban app.

New Cities Foundation, France

The Story:

Improving City Life with Crowdsourcing Apps Contest Tightly focused contests with a narrow scope and a clear set of guidelines can be a boon to organizations and companies that operate them. With clear objectives in mind, innovators can concentrate their creative firepower on coming up with novel solutions without trying to second guess what is required.

Improve City Living

The AppMyCity contest is one such competition that gives participants a well-defined set of parameters. This global open innovation challenge is a search for new mobile apps that will improve urban living, connect people and generally make cities more fun, vibrant and sustainable places. Apps are welcome from individuals and teams in any language and from any city, provided they have an obvious focus on the urban experience.

The open innovation contest is organized by the French-based non-profit, the New Cities Foundation, and the 2014 competition received 93 eligible candidates representing more than 150 cities in 26 countries.

Submissions were whittled down to three finalists who had to present their concepts to a panel of judges in Dallas in June 2014.

Peerby Declared the Winner

The overall winner was Peerby, developed by a team based in Amsterdam. The app allows users to share items in the way that people living in cities used to, before modernity and urban expansion made everybody strangers. The app's CEO and founder Daan Weddepohl said the idea came to him after wondering why everyone feels the need to purchase their own set of consumer items such as hammers, saws and drills, when they are unused most of the time and just gather dust.

The sharing service app is simplicity itself. Users send out a request for something they want to borrow and others can accept the request if they want to share their item. For their concept, the Peerby team picked up a check for $5,000.

John Rossant, Founder and Chairman of the New Cities Foundation and AppMyCity judge, commented: "Peerby is a perfect example of how apps can re-imagine urban living, encouraging neighbors to share, this great app allows us to rethink current consumption patterns and imagine a city where all goods are used more efficiently and to everyone's benefit.”

The two runners up were Djump (Brussels/Paris) a ride-sharing service and Social Cyclist (New York). This app encourages cyclists to map their preferred routes, report hazard spots and vote on where they would like future cycling infrastructure to be located.

Quality Trumps Quantity

By being so clear about their needs, the AppMyCity organizers improved their chances of receiving quality submissions. This is a big time and resource saver as it cuts down on the amount of people hours spent sorting through weak submissions that are wide of the mark. It’s about quality not quantity.

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