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Bike-share and smart parking start-ups honoured

Companies were evaluated on criteria such as contribution to improving quality of life and health and/or conservation of resources

LimeBike was recognised for its vision to revolutionise mobility
LimeBike was recognised for its vision to revolutionise mobility

The Smart Cities Council, the world’s largest smart cities network, has honoured innovative start-up companies CommuniThings and LimeBike for their commitment to providing municipalities with effective solutions to manage urban growth.


It made the announcements at this year’s Innovation Alley Awards during Smart Cities Week in Washington DC.


The theme for the awards was smart infrastructure and they highlight companies that embody technology which strengthens community infrastructure including energy, water, transportation and public buildings. Companies were also evaluated based on the following criteria: contribution to improving quality of life, health and/or conservation of resources; supports transparency of information, decision making and policy; and promotes economic opportunity and inclusion.


“We are so pleased that we can showcase some of these pioneering companies and their inspired efforts to promote more livable, workable and sustainable communities,” says Smart Cities Council chairman, Jesse Berst. “Their initiatives will help to move the smart cities industry forward, streamline operations for cities, and positively affect the lives of many citizens.”


Start-ups participating in the Innovation Alley showcase were judged by a panel which included: Dominie Garcia, Smart Cities programme lead, Battelle Memorial Institute; David Heyman, founder, Smart City Works; David Ihrie, chief technology officer, Virginia Centre for Innovative Technology; and Kip Tew, partner, Ice Miller LLP.


Belgium-based CommuniThings is a turnkey smart-parking service provider. Its platform includes LPWAN (mainly LoRa and Narrowband-IoT) sensors on the ground, and a parking session management layer which provides parking availability information for residents, a dashboard on parking occupation for controllers and statistics on parking usage patterns to municipalities.


“Our primary focus is on alleviating the congestion associated with lengthy searches for parking,” said CommuniThings CEO, Etay Oren. “We do so by first addressing each of the stakeholders in the city – and providing a tailored mobile application for commuters allowing guidance to available spots in real-time, a management dashboard for parking stewards, and reporting tools for better urban planning by the municipality.”


California-based LimeBike was the other Innovation Alley Award winner. LimeBike was recognised for its mission to revolutionise mobility and empower residents in cities and colleges nationwide. By utilising modern mobile and wireless technologies, LimeBike’s dockless smart bikes are used conjointly with the LimeBike app which allows the rider to unlock the bike with their phone. LimeBike is flexible and responds to each city’s specific needs.


"LimeBike is honoured to be the recipient of the Smart Cities Innovation Alley Award, as it is a testament to our dockless bike-share model and team’s hard work," says Maggie Gendron, LimeBike’s director of strategic development. “LimeBike will add to a city’s ecosystem of mobility options and we are committed to ensuring that our service is truly affordable, convenient, and equitable for all."


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