Apps Reinvent Green at City Hackathon

By Catherine Yang
Epoch Times Staff
Created: July 3, 2012 Last Updated: July 3, 2012
Related articles: United States » New York City
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NEW YORK—More than 100 application (app) developers got together over the weekend—putting in more than 1,000 hours to create sustainability apps for New Yorkers.

Thirteen teams competed in Reinvent Green, PlaNYC’s first sustainability hackathon Saturday and Sunday at NYU–Polu in Downtown Brooklyn.

Five teams received prizes after 30 straight hours of work.

ReBounty won Best App for City Crowdsourcing, allowing users to list their own and browse other unwanted household and personal items. A way to reduce consumer waste in the city, the app also allows users to set up notifications for specific items in nearby locations.

GreenCan won Best App for Recycling. The simple app lets users locate the nearest recycling trash can, and provides useful recycling-related information, such as what to do with electronics and organics. GreenCan was also developed with the purpose of providing the city of New York with better information on where to place recycling cans.

Bike Pooling won Best App for Transportation. Bike Pooling will let users locate other cyclists who commute on the same path. The app aims to get more bikers to ride together, promoting safer biking, and converting more people to biking in the city.

FreshFixNYC won Best App for Parks and Public Spaces. FreshFixNYC locates farmers markets and lists available products and green farmers, enabling New Yorkers to build a sustainable relationship with their local farmers and have easier access to fresh, green products.

The fifth category, Judges’ Pick, was awarded to Green, Greener, Greenest. The app lists the different neighborhoods throughout NYC, ranking them by green data such as energy consumption and number of trees planted—allowing competition between neighborhoods.

New Yorkers are able to vote via Facebook for the sixth prize category, Popular Choice, until July 15. The winner will be announced in late July.

“Reinvent Green brought together the city’s brightest young talents to create applications that provide solutions to manage waste recycling, to conserve water, and to bring environmental awareness to neighborhoods,” said Brian Blauvelt, president of Energy Infotech NYC. “It is events like these that are paving the way for New York City to becoming the number one energy infotech hub in the world.”

Technology partners such as Bitly, Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Twitter, and more, provided a variety of expertise throughout the hackathon, including on-site mentorship. Competitors also had access to over 1,000 city data sets.

“This event set a great example for current and future students interested in engineering and demonstrates how education coupled with hands-on experience can be used to tackle the most pressing issues facing our cities today,” said Jerry Hultin, president of NYU-Poly.

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