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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
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Your daily fix of new business ideas Springwise and its network of 17,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds. More at www.springwise.com
Through app, kids ask questions about politics via text
While general elections in the UK typically receive a moderate voter turnout — usually above 60 percent — there’s still widespread disaffection with politics and voter numbers have been dropping since the 1950s. Young people especially aren’t engaged by political activity in their region and learning about it isn’t mandatory in schools. Now a new campaign in the country is looking to change this with Ask Amy, an app that uses artificial intelligence to provide kids with answers to their questions about politics. READ MORE…
Journey tracking app will use cyclist data to make cities safer for bikes
Most cities were never designed to cater for the huge numbers of bikes seen on their roads every day, and as the number of cyclists grows, so do the fatality statistics thanks to limited investment in safe cycle paths. While Berlin already crowdsources bikers’ favorite cycle routes and maps them through the Dynamic Connectionsplatform, a new app called WeCycle lets cyclists track their journeys, pooling their data to create heat maps for city planners. READ MORE…
Scheme turns foreclosed homes into startup incubators
The effects of the housing crisis are still highly visible in certain areas of the US, particularly in St Petersburg, Florida, where more than 800 homes are now boarded up and abandoned. What’s worse is that these properties are concentrated in pockets, meaning entire neighborhoods are left desolate. A new program called Venture House is tackling the issue by renovating and renting out low cost housing in Florida to entrepreneurs, in the hopes of fostering startup communities and revitalizing the local economy. READ MORE…
App enables citizens to report water waste in drought regions
Rallying citizens to take a part in looking after the community they live in has become easier thanks to smartphones. In the past, the Creek Watch app has enabled anyone to help monitor their local water quality by sending data back to the state water board. Now Everydrop LA wants to use similar techniques to avoid drought in California, encouraging residents to report incidents of water wastage. READ MORE…
Listings app lets local governments trade equipment
Peer-to-peer lending has already hit a wide range of industries, from audio-visual equipment business goods, enabling those who can’t afford to own limited use items to lend them from others in their community. Now MuniRent wants to encourage city councils to take advantage by pooling their resources and lending them to each other. READ MORE…
Public toilet for dogs lets owners flush away the mess
There’s been a much larger crackdown on dog littering in the past few decades, with owners now expected to clear up their pet’s mess or face a fine. However, it remains a problem in some areas. Madrid’s Cacas Express recently took the extreme measure of tracking owners and mailing them any dog poo they leave through the post. A much more friendly alternative is now being trialled in northeastern Spain, where streetside public dog toilets give pooches the same luxury as humans when it comes to spending a penny. READ MORE…
Park benches charge phones and offer local area information
Park benches are typically pedestrian affairs, but they can be redesigned to offer greater practicality. We’ve already seen ideas such as the Water Bench, which enables outdoor seating to double as a water reservoir in drought-affected areas. Now Boston-based Soofa is turning urban furniture into solar-powered information centers and charge points for cities’ public spaces. READ MORE…
SmartWalk projects real-time subway info onto the sidewalk
Printed posters offering public information and transport schedules feel almost unreliable in an age where apps can offer details of up-to-the-minute changes and alerts. We’ve already seen Points embed dynamic displays into street signposts, and now TransitScreen has created SmartWalk, a projected display system that lets cities display the latest transport information on any surface. READ MORE…
‘Methane backpacks’ capture cow farts, turn them into green fuel
It’s common knowledge that certain types of organic waste can be harnessed as energy sources, with UK firm 2OC even recently turning huge greaseballs found in the country’s sewers into power for local homes. Now Argentina’s INTA governmental research body has developed cow backpacks that trap the methane they produce in order to turn it into green energy. READ MORE…
Project leverages Instagram to clean up abandoned bikes on NY streets
We’ve already seen Canada’s Trashswag help document the useable goods that are left on the sidewalk. Now the Dead Pedal NY project is getting residents to document the city’s abandoned bikes via Instagram so authorities can do something about it. READ MORE…
In Belgium, speed camera locations are crowdsourced from citizens
As much as local authorities try to, they aren’t able to stop every single civic infraction because they only have a limited number of eyes on the street. However, smartphones have already enabled councils to crowdsource details of law breaches, through apps such as Parking Mobility that let users log when a driver is using a disabled parking bay without a licence. Now the ikflitsmee campaign in Belgium has encouraged citizens to send in locations where they believe speeding is a problem in order for the police to invest in safety measures. READ MORE…
In Austria, council uses app to crowdsource community issues
Civic authorities can’t be everywhere at once and often rely on citizens to inform them of the improvements that need making. The NYPD already launched its own crowdsourcing crime reports app, and now the Bürgerforum Vorarlberg mobile app is enabling citizens to flag community issues that need addressing by sending photos and text direct to the council. READ MORE…
App keeps citizens informed and engaged about political issues
They say that a week is a long time in politics, which is what makes it so hard for citizens and businesses to track what’s going on in Washington. While FiscalNote already offers information and predictions about new legislative bills for businesses, a new app called iCitizen is now helping voters stay more informed by tracking the issues that matter to them. READ MORE…
Jeans are made by prison inmates
In the UK there are 85,000 prisoners, but only 10,000 of them are doing valuable work with their time. In order to change this, Gaolhouse Denim is now collaborating with a number of British inmates, giving them meaningful, paid work while also creating premium jeans for consumers. READ MORE…
Public urinals harness pee to grow food
How much use is a city-load of urine? Quite a lot, it turns out. So much so that the Netherlands’ Waternet utilities company has placed some pee-collecting urinals in Amsterdam, with the hope of turning it into fertilizer for the city’s urban roof gardens. READ MORE…