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New York Circular City programme to focus on advancing sustainability

The programme aims to show what can happen when the private and public sector team up with civic groups and academic experts to tackle the biggest challenges facing the city.

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Start-ups will help New York City work towards a more sustainable and equitable future
Start-ups will help New York City work towards a more sustainable and equitable future

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and New Lab have launched the 2020 edition of the Circular City programme, a vehicle for start-ups to pilot their products or technologies in real urban environments.

 

This year, the focus is on New York City’s transition to a circular economy and the future of energy efficiency in the built environment. The challenge for start-ups is to help New York City work towards a more sustainable, equitable and accessible future.

 

Urban innovation

 

Previously, New Lab and NYCEDC teamed to create the Urban Tech Hub in 2017. The 2020 edition of Circular City will focus on advancing NYC’s sustainability vision through technology, supporting the transition to a circular economy, a closed-loop system in which waste or pollution is eliminated and resources are kept in circulation through reuse, regeneration and recycling.

 

In addition, it seeks to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, the city’s leading source of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

“Innovation and the growing tech sector are key not only to New York City’s economy, but also to our efforts to stop climate change and safeguard the environment,” said James Patchett, president and CEO, NYCEDC.

 

“The Circular City programme shows what can happen when the private and public sector team up with civic groups and academic experts to tackle the biggest challenges facing New York City. We are excited to see how the new solutions emerging from the 2020 Circular City programme can benefit all New Yorkers.”

 

Circular City participants will also contribute to the development of an urban data collaborative that facilitates the public-private exchange of data for the public good. Academic researchers, policy experts and city stakeholders will leverage the collaborative to put into practice the concepts of urban data exchange developed in the first edition of the programme.

 

“Innovation and the growing tech sector are key not only to New York City’s economy, but also to our efforts to stop climate change and safeguard the environment.”

 

Since launching in May of 2018, Circular City has served as a platform to study how deploying and scaling emerging technologies can address the complex challenges of modern urban life.

 

Real-world problems

 

In the first edition, programme partners came together to focus on mobility, economic development and resilience issues in Downtown Brooklyn. New Lab-based startups Numina, Carmera and Citiesense launched on-the-ground pilots to collect and analyse neighbourhood-level data and insights.

 

“The Navy Yard’s 300 acres, more than 70 buildings, and street and transportation network function as a city within a city where urban innovators can test new ideas in a collaborative community among a diverse range of companies,” added David Ehrenberg, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation.

 

“The Circular City programme advances our mission by bringing new partners together to explore and develop groundbreaking concepts to solve real-world problems at the Yard.”

 

Interested start-ups with a relevant technology or product are encouraged to apply through the open call at newlab.com/circularcity.

 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis with input from the 2020 programme collaborators, including returning partners Downtown Brooklyn Partnership and the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, as well as new partners, Governors Island and the Flatbush Junction BID, which will serve as potential sites for this year’s technology deployments.

 

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