Chicago’s Urban Sustainability Hackathon
CNT held its first Urban Sustainability Hackathon from Thursday October 4th to Sunday October 7th. On Thursday night, Hackathon participants joined with Chicago’s civic, business, and IT communities at Reinventing Chicago, CNT’s Public Conversation about Technology and Place. Energized by the discussion on Thursday night, teams formed up at Illinois Technology Association’s TechNexus office on Friday evening.
Over the weekend, the six teams worked on different projects. On Saturday, Chuck Templeton, founder of OpenTable and Impact Engine, shared his valuable insights and gave feedback to the teams. Jason Kunesh, an expert on usability design, also met with each team. On Sunday, the teams presented to the panel of judges: Jamie Jones, Kellogg School of Management; Daniel X. O’Neil, Smart Chicago Collaborative; Orlando Saez, CityScan; and Ira Weis, Hyde Park Venture Partners.
The judges selected one winner and two runner up’s. All six projects address significant issues of urban sustainability in innovative ways. We want to thank all of the volunteers who participated in the Hackathon – we are excited about the ideas and apps that were created and vetted as a result of both the Conversation and Hackathon. And congratulations to the winning team, Edifice! The winning team received Google Nexus 7 tablets and a three-minute promotional video that they can use to continue the development of their project on crowd funding sites like Kickstarter.
Winner: Edifice- Making the Urban Map Clickable Edifice is a geolocation platform for reporting and examining City of Chicago data, developed by Cory Mollet and Juan-Pablo Velez. Numerous map layers have already been developed, including building permits, tear-downs, and building violations and repairs. The platform is designed to permit the easy addition of new data. There are numerous applications for this tool, including city planning, zoning, and real estate. A demo is available here. Watch presentation of Ediface ››
Runner Up: Jitney Driver- Bringing Back a Community Solution to Transit Deserts Jitney Driver is a network of phone, web, and mobile web apps for community ride-sharing for the jitney cab. Jitneys are an historic transportation option in Chicago’s South Side African-American communities. The City of Chicago has now approved this transportation service. The Jitney Driver app was developed by community activist Paula Robinson and programmers Jack Eisenberg and Chris Kozak, Joanna Price, and Michelle Brennan. It uses a map interface to link drivers with riders, making it possible for people in these neighborhoods who have cars to make extra money by offer rides to neighbors, and for residents who don’t have cars to get around without the severe restrictions of the bus schedule. The Jitney Driver app is intended to foster the community, as well as expand transportation options. Watch presentation of Jitney Driver ››
Runner Up: Hidden Value in Abandoned Property - Revealing the Hidden Assets Hidden Value in Abandoned Property is a web application developed by affordable housing researcher Audrey Henderson and CNT Energy’s Dan Fehrenbach. The site list maps abandoned properties and gives information about nearby amenities in an effort to communicate the potential value of these properties to would-be purchasers. There are several markets for this tool, including researchers, real estate workers, developers, and nonprofits working in areas with many abandoned properties and housing problems. A demo is available here. Watch presentation of Hidden Value in Abandoned Property ››
Work (by) Now - Find a Job near Transit Work (by) Now is a web-based filter for job searching that is based on how transit-friendly the jobs are. It was developed by Andrew Irwin, Tzyy-Chyn Hu, Scott Beslow, and Jonathan Ahn. It uses the Career Builder API to show what jobs are close to transit and allows users to filter their search by transit time, not only distance. The tool can also be reverse-engineered to allow employers and companies looking to move to find the business locations where they will be able to draw from the best talent pool available, expanding Work (by) Now’s appeal to both job seekers and employers. Watch Work(by)Now presentation ››
Trabbit - Make Better Transit Habits Trabbit is a web and mobile app for fostering efficient transit habits. It was developed by Nathan Krapf, Sabi Horvat, and Adam Talsma. By automatically tracking and recording the user’s mobility over a one week period, it determines not only where the user went but what transportation mode they utilized. Trabbit then analyzes this data and recommends more efficient travel strategies that save money, time, and/or environmental footprint. Users travel habits are scored and can be shared on social networks like Facebook or Twitter. The app will provide reliable information on how various methods of transportation would “score” on metrics like cost, time, and agony of use. Watch Trabbit presentation ››
CommunityMap - Share Errands & Build Community CommunityMap is a geolocator tool for sharing resources and errands efficiently. It was developed by Jonathan Ortony and Kathy Li. Users can post items they want to get rid of, and other users can search for the things they need. Errands can also be scheduled so that the car ride can be shared to save resources, and people unable to go shopping alone can easily get help from their community. CommunityMap shares some features with Craigslist and OhSoWe, but features a geolocation tool that they do not, as well as a very clean, simple interface. Watch CommunityMap presentation ››