City invites tech community to propose and test new solutions to modernize public infrastructure, support neighborhood development, and bridge the digital divide
NEW YORK— Mayor Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, and Chief Technology Officer Miguel Gamiño, Jr. announced the launch of applications inviting startups, entrepreneurs and independent teams to propose tech solutions that address priority needs in the neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
NYCx, the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development was announced last week and will utilize Moonshot and Co-Lab Challenges to engage the tech industry to solve real-world problems and help the City advance its goals to be the most fair, equitable and sustainable city in the world.
“Technology is an inescapable, critical part of our lives and the future of our communities,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Now, more than ever New York must take a leadership role in shaping a future that protects our values, strengthens inclusiveness and equity of our communities and presents a model of leadership for other cities around the world.”
“NYCx represents an important step forward in spurring economic development while addressing the critical needs of our neighborhoods,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen. “This program allows New Yorkers to benefit from the opportunities that come with advancements in the tech ecosystem and confirms that NYC is the global capital of innovation.”
“We’re proud of the work that we’ve done with community leaders to identify their needs and to develop the NYCx Co-Lab challenges,” said Miguel Gamiño, Jr., Chief Technology Officer “It’s been truly collaborative, and NYCx Co-Labs is an evolution of our efforts and will benefit all New Yorkers as we expand this program to all five boroughs.”
The NYCx Co-Labs are neighborhood-based partnership to co-design a set of challenges and make neighborhood spaces available for testing new technologies aiming to address the neighborhood’s more pressing needs.
In Brownsville, Brooklyn, community partners and local youth are advising the City on areas of opportunity where technologies can play a role in improving neighborhood quality of life and local economic development.
Challenge respondents have until December 15, 2017 to submit proposals for solutions. Winners will receive funding, access to urban infrastructure and support from City agencies to deploy solutions in Brownsville neighborhood spaces in 2018.
The first Co-Lab Challenge: Safe and Thriving Night Corridors was developed in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice (MOCJ) and the the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and calls for creative solutions to enhance public experience, encourage use of public spaces during evening hours, and increase night activity and community safety while boosting economic, civic and cultural opportunity for neighborhood residents. Selected proposals will receive up to $20,000 in funding to test solutions in the Belmont Avenue Business Corridor.
The second Co-Lab Challenge: Zero Waste in Shared Space was developed in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Department of Sanitation (DSNY) and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and calls for creative solutions that increase resident participation in recycling and waste-reduction opportunities while reducing trash and litter in the common areas in public housing. Selected proposals will receive up to $20,000 in funding to test solutions at Brownsville Houses, one of the larger public housing developments in the Brownsville.
The City also announced that the NYCx Co-Labs program will expand to all five boroughs in 2018.
Today’s announcement marks a milestone in the City’s tech equity efforts in Brownsville that started with the Neighborhood Innovation Labs, an initiative launched in March 2017 as part of the Brownsville Plan that brought together communities, government, educators, and technologists to research, develop and demonstrate solutions to improve quality of life and enhance city services. Neighborhood Innovation Labs are a public-private partnership led by the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, New York City Economic Development Corporation, and NYU’s Center for Urban Science and Progress. Brownsville Community Justice Center serves as the lead community partner for the City’s first Neighborhood Innovation Lab in Osborn Plaza.
“The NYCx Co-Lab in Brownsville creates an unprecedented opportunity for researchers to work directly with residents to understand and address problems most important to the community,” said Constantine E. Kontokosta, PhD, PE, Assistant Professor of Urban Informatics and Director of the Urban Intelligence Lab at NYU CUSP and NYU School of Engineering. “By building on the lessons from our Quantified Community research initiative, we hope to show how data can be used to help communities become empowered to take action based on rigorous, evidenced-based analysis of what civic technologies and urban innovations work best for them.”