CityApp 2014: Innovative Solutions for Cities

CityApp 2014 Final Logo no cn logos

CITYNET and Microsoft invite government officials, urban planners, and software developers to join CityApp 2014: Innovative Solutions for Cities. This series of unique events brings together stakeholders from across the Asia Pacific region to examine common urban challenges and build technology-based solutions over a 3 day period.

The first CityApp Event was held in coordination with Kathmandu and Lalitpur city officials, and partner organizations in Nepal from March 13-15, 2014. CityApp identified the most pressing urban challenges confronting the Kathmandu valley region and local Kathmandu computer programmers, developers and technology experts built web or mobile applications in response to these challenges. After a period of incubation, the applications will be available for use in Kathmandu and Lalitpur and for consumption by other cities in the CITYNET network. Read more about the winning applications here.

Developer teams are invited to apply to attend the next appathon event in Spring 2014. Details will be available soon.

Read the final CityApp Kathmandu 2013 report here.

CityApp Kathmandu In the News

Chosun Ilbo (Korean)
March 25, 2014: Incheon and Seoul Play Host to International Organizations

The Himalayan Times
February 10, 2014: Apps for a better Kathmandu

Guthi Blog
February 4, 2014: Apps for a better Kathmandu

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Microsoft-CITYNET Appathon Uncovers Innovative Solutions for Kathmandu

The first CityApp Appathon organized jointly by Microsoft and CITYNET (The Regional Network of Local Authorities for the Management of Human Settlements) included 103 developers from across Nepal building web and mobile applications to solve Kathmandu’s biggest urban challenges.
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“This is an amazing event and I want to thank CITYNET and Microsoft for organizing it. The apps that our citizens have created will go a long way in ensuring the socio-economic sustainability of our city. It is a great showcase of the power of technology and the role it can play in making cities better for people,” said Kathmandu CEO Mr. Laxman Aryal.

The Kathmandu Valley is one of the fastest urbanizing cities in Asia and with the increased population growth comes issues such as traffic congestion, pollution and insufficient waste management. CityApp Kathmandu saw a variety of apps being built to address a wide range of issues, including accurate demographic information, cultural and heritage preservation, urbanization, pedestrian information, as well as waste management.

“As a citizen of Kathmandu, I experience these issues every day and have witnessed first-hand how important and urgent it is to find solutions. The collaborative approach that the government is taking with CityApp has enabled me to put my programming skills to use for the betterment of the city, and I am thankful for the opportunity to do so,” said Yashasvi Raj Pant.

The first place winning app, a solution focusing on public safety called Safety Whistle, was submitted by Yashasvi and teammates Anish Ansari, Gopal Kandoi and Rumi Shakya, who made up Team Conscientious. In this app, users can enter two to three emergency contact numbers and two to three emergency email addresses. If ever the user is in a situation they feel threatened or require assistance, the user simply presses the panic button to activate the app, which will send an SMS or email to the designated contacts. Information will also be sent to the police noting the location of the emergency.

Other winning apps include a patient-centric application that captures interactions between a health care provider and a patient; an app that tracks public transportation arrival times; an information portal that supports communication and collaboration between citizens and the government; and a crowd sourcing app that helps citizens connect to help each other solve community based problems together.

“This groundswell of ideas from the Appathon is a hallmark of Microsoft CityNext, which broadens the city innovation conversation beyond infrastructure alone, centering on helping cities unlock their most important resource—the potential of their people,” said Stefan Sjöström, Vice President of Asia Public Sector at Microsoft.

Winners of CityApp Kathmandu 2014 will work with the Microsoft Innovation Center in Nepal to incubate and further develop their ideas. They will get an opportunity to showcase their apps to city and government officials at the World Cities Summit in Singapore on 1-4 June 2014.

More information about Microsoft CityNext is available here.

Mobile-Based App for Better Road Infrastructure Wins the Third CityApp

ROAR presentation
Team Thor from Universitas Kanjuhuran Malang won the third CityApp held in conjunction with CityNet’s 33rd Executive Committee Meeting and International Seminar in Sidoarjo, Indonesia.

Following the first two successful CityApps in Kathmandu, Nepal, and Makassar, Indonesia, this year’s appathon were attended by more than 150 university students across East Java region.

CityApp is an innovative series of events designed to create web and mobile applications to help citizens, businesses and governments better address urban challenges. CityNet and Microsoft continue their partnership to hold the appathon in 2015 together with Sidoarjo Regency and Universitas Muhammadiyah Sidoarjo as the hosts.

The winning app was created to help the city in addressing road infrastructure problems. Road Infrastructure Report or ROAR is a Cloud based app that allows citizens to capture photos and send reports of poor road conditions using their smartphone’s GPS (Global Positioning System) to the local authorities. The runner-up, team Santoso Gaming from Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang aimed at addressing similar issue, road infrastructure. They believed damaged road would decrease productivity and the city’s economy. On the third place, Capil Pantau from Universitas Muhammadiyah Sidoarjo attempted to improve the administrative proceedings through a web-based mobile application accessible for the public.

The participants of CityApp Sidoarjo competed to develop various modern solutions through mobile based applications to six strategic issues proposed by Sidoarjo Regency:

  1. Population/demographic administration: The application is expected to facilitate public access to settlement services and accelerate the process of demography administration documents.
  2. Clean water services: The application is expected to make it easier for citizens to find information and simplify bill payments. In addition, the public will find it easier to report any disruptions and enable the PDAM to be more responsive in dealing with service disruptions.
  3. Road infrastructure: Accelerate the local government response to repair damaged roads and bridges.
  4. Public service complaints: The establishment of a mobile application for the Public Complaints Service Center and follow-up treatment to facilitate public complaints and accelerate the government response to the complaints.
  5. Land and building taxes: The application is expected to facilitate taxpayers and increase the access to taxation services, which will increase local revenues from the Land and Building Taxes sector.
  6. Licensing services: The application is expected to facilitate the public to access any necessary information related to the licensing services in Sidoarjo.

“Incredible innovation in today’s digital tools have the potential to enable rapidly growing cities like Sidoarjo to grow their economy, stimulate job growth, and create a modern, safe, educated, and healthy community,” said Microsoft Asia Public Sector Vice President Stefan Sjöström.

CityNet Secretary General Vijay Jagannathan said, “CityApp is an ideal way to employ technology that is citizen-centered, responsive and efficient to better address urban challenges in Sidoarjo by tapping into the talent of hundreds of young potential software developers. The apps expand income opportunities from the rich and poor, for youth and older citizens through the Gig economy. We believe CityApp is the best example for other cities to come up with smart city initiatives.”

Find out more about the winning app presentation here.

Press Release: CITYNET and Microsoft Collaborate on CityApp 2014

CityApp Kathmandu 2014: Innovative Solutions for Cities
CITYNET and Microsoft collaborate to create technology-based solutions to urban challenges

SEOUL – February 24, 2014 – CITYNET, in partnership with Microsoft, is harnessing the power of innovation to develop technological solutions to urban challenges in the Kathmandu Valley. The CityApp Kathmandu project brings together government officials, developers, and citizens to conceptualize, build and implement innovative mobile and web applications to promote a healthier, safer, more sustainable environment to live in.

In late 2013, CITYNET and Microsoft signed a Memorandum of Understanding that laid the foundation for future collaborative projects in urban development. CityApp Kathmandu 2014 is the first fruit of this partnership, and connects Microsoft’s global experience, innovative tools, and resources with the CITYNET network.

“CityApp Kathmandu is a true depiction of Microsoft’s people-centric approach in collaborating with cities. Every city in Asia must recognize the power of apps to drive positive change—especially when those apps are created by the city’s people. That is why we are very thankful for the city officials of Kathmandu and Lalitpur to be part of this journey to empower and unleash the creativity of the people of Nepal,” said Stefan Sjöström, Vice President of Asia Public Sector at Microsoft.

In coordination with Kathmandu and Lalitpur city officials, and partner organizations in Nepal, CityApp will identify the most pressing urban challenges confronting the Kathmandu valley region. From March 13-15, 2014, local Kathmandu computer programmers, developers and technology experts will build web or mobile applications in response to these challenges. After a period of incubation, the applications will be available for use in Kathmandu and Lalitpur and for consumption by other cities in the CITYNET network.

Vijay Jagannathan, the Secretary General of CITYNET commented, “Internet and mobile phones are becoming increasingly important tools for cities and governments across Asia. This pilot project enables Kathmandu to access the knowledge and skills of its own citizens, and advance the CITYNET mission of empowering cities at a local level.”

Based upon the success of this event, further CityApp pilot projects may be launched in other cities in late 2014.

About CITYNET:
CITYNET, with 130 member cities and organizations, is the largest network of urban stakeholders in Asia. Headquartered in Seoul, CITYNET connects local governments, civil society, and the private sector to exchange knowledge and best practices aimed at building people-centered, sustainable, and resilient cities across the Asia-Pacific.

About Microsoft:
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

 

Brenna Foster
Partner Development Officer
communication@citynet-ap.org
+82 2 723 0635
www.citynet-ap.org

Jennifer Chen
Regional Marketing – Public Sector
jennchen@microsoft.com
+65 6888 8228
+65 9369 1839
www.microsoft.com/citynext

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