People & Civic Tech in NYC.

Sustainability Issue.

People living in Manhattan now have access to public wi-fi through LINK-NYC. In addition, people living in big cities can observe how solar tech is used for multi-purposes and at different scales. However, most of the population have neither access to tech solutions, nor proximity to deployable technologies to solve day-to-day problems.

In 2017, after many weeks of civic engagement activities, starting by training sessions about tech opportunities, building advisory teams, and figuring out potential economics improvement by using Tech, the program Neighborhood Innovation Lab (NIL) was launched in Brownsville, NY. NIL seeks to enhance economic development through technology, but it also compromises the deployment of two civic technologies during the implementation of the strategy.

Osborn Plaza, Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York.


Solutions deployed

Technology Objective: Show how the technology can be part of our daily routine, as well as to familiarize people to new devices using internet of things (IOT).
Bigbelly solar-powered smart waste and recycling system, which can hold up to five times the amount of a regular trash bin and uses sensors to notify maintenance crews when it is full.
Soofa smart benches, which use solar power to offer free charging for mobile devices.
Big Belly (right), Soofa Smart Bench (left)

Where and How?
Big belly could be a potential solution to remote or public areas, while the Soofa Smart bench, can be deployed at any plaza if a cost-benefit analysis supports the investment. Most of the tech solutions for civic engagement require the use of the internet, for example, big-belly to report full capacity.  Therefore, sites, where Link NYC is already installed, are potential areas to take advantage of the use of public wi-fi.

Steps for Implementation.
1.- Mapping areas where tech could create a new economic development opportunity. Create a tech strategy, invite partners, create an advisory team, and get support from the Mayor´s office of Tech + Innovation.
2.- Solve people, SME´s, and other´s problems, if possible, by implementing tech solutions.
3.-Deploy civic tech in the area to create engagement in the civil society.

Neighborhood Innovation Lab.
Waste Management Solution.
Smart Solar Bench.

by, Gabriel Guggisberg (gg2642)