Users can develop and test novel solutions that can address pressing urban problems with the goal of improving lives
New York City’s chief technology officer has released a how-to guide for creating civic tech challenges. The move follows the success of two previous ‘moonshot challenges’ which focused on connectivity and climate action.
The city partnered with Cornell Tech to develop the NYCx Moonshot Launchpad which is a free, downloadable guide that can be used to define issues in the public realm that can be tackled through moonshot thinking.
The NYCx Moonshot is a challenge that invites global problem-solvers to partner with the city to develop and test novel solutions that can address pressing urban problems with the goal of improving lives.
The guide is aimed at city agencies, community organisations, technology industry and academia.
“The NYCx Moonshot Launchpad was born from collaboration with New York City agencies, entrepreneurs and tech industry partners wanting to work together to solve urban challenges,” said Jeremy Goldberg, deputy CTO of NYCx and managing director of NYC Digital.
“At Cornell Tech, our mission is to develop pioneering leaders and technologies that will have real world impact, and the Moonshot Launchpad is a great example of that”
He continued: “The launchpad is derived from the development of our first two challenges focused on connectivity and climate action – from mapping the problem to defining an outcome. Now, this resource is available to any organisation or government agency seeking to pursue their own moonshot and serve the public realm.”
Arnaud Sahuguet, director of the Foundry at Cornell Tech, added: “At Cornell Tech, our mission is to develop pioneering leaders and technologies that will have real world impact, and the Moonshot Launchpad is a great example of that.
“Our team at Cornell Tech worked closely with the mayor’s office to develop this unique platform to allow cities and organisations around the world tackle urban challenges with the goal of improving daily lives.”
The first moonshot challenge, announced in late 2017, was the Trust for Governors Island Connectivity Challenge. The challenge showcased Governors Island as an ideal testbed for internet connectivity solutions.
Global entrepreneurs and technologists were invited to propose and test their solutions to deliver hi-speed broadband and 5G cellular service on Governors Island, with the opportunity to deliver the technology more broadly across the city’s five boroughs and help bring high-speed, affordable internet to all New Yorkers.
NYCx climate action was the second moonshot challenge. It called on the tech industry to develop solutions for scaling electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and help accelerate adoption of EVs citywide with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by the year 2050.
More than 30 local and global proposals with breakthrough technology solutions were received, including solar canopies, energy-harnessing infrastructure, and software to connect vehicle batteries to the energy grid to reduce greenhouse gas.
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