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23 winning solutions announced that have potential to transform our cities

15 May 2013
23 winning solutions announced that have potential to transform our cities

SAN FRANCISCO: Today leaders from 22 cities including London, Paris, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro, met in San Francisco to announce the 23 winning solutions that will meet their cities’ most pressing low carbon challenges.

City challenges

Each year, 557,000 local governments spend US$4.5 trillion to deliver services that impact the majority of the world’s population who live in cities. LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future is an annual global effort to uncover solutions that will improve cities' resource efficiency, emissions reduction, asset protection and sustainability monitoring in a more cost-effective and sustainable way, to better the lives of millions of city-dwellers.

LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future, which is run by in partnership with Oracle, the UN Global Compact Cities Programme, the City of San Francisco and The Climate Group, brings together cities who present their biggest challenges. In response, solution providers then showcase their innovations in the hopes of being implemented as pilots in a specific city.

Innovative solutions

This year, leaders from the 22 partner cities announced 23 winners who were selected from 120 nominated solution providers, at a three day summit in San Francisco. San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee, said: “San Francisco is excited to be the first city in the United States to host the LLGA | Cities Summit. San Francisco, as the Innovation Capital of the World, will facilitate a vigorous exchange of ideas and help develop innovative solutions to common urban challenges including transportation, the environment and healthcare that will build a better world.”

Xavier Trias, Mayor of Barcelona, a partner city, said: “LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future is a great opportunity to identify and share solutions to the global challenges that cities are facing. Every city is a world in itself, and we are living in an urban world, this is why it is so important to identify those common problems which require shared solutions. Barcelona has participated in all LLGA editions, and shares the vision of this transparent process with leading technology companies, social entrepreneurs, and international research centers. Furthermore, LLGA is a great opportunity for Catalan companies to join in and participate in this global process.”

Jim Walker, Co-founder and International Programs and Strategy Director, The Climate Group, added: “The 23 winners will help build smarter, cleaner and more resilient urban communities. Having read 1000s of entries, we were very impressed to see how companies are offering such innovative, low carbon solutions. These solutions and many like them are fundamental to accelerating the world’s urban clean revolution.”  

The 23 winning solutions are:

Barcelona (Spain): Turning empty Space into an opportunity by 3Space

Boston (USA): Underground Technologies Elevation Units by Quality Water Products

Christchurch (NZ): Philips Lighting Control systems- a solution for the new Christchurch by Philips Eindhoven (The Netherlands): Contactless tags to bridge real and virtual worlds by Connecthings

Fukuoka (Japan): Guidebook by Guidebook

L'Hospitalet (Spain): NANA (Novel Assessment of Nutrition and Ageing) by NANA

Lagos (Nigeria): Wireless Lagos: Free & Far Reaching by OTG Playa Entity LLC

Lavasa (India): Enabling Livelihoods by LabourNet

London (UK) 1: Realtime Energy Opportunity System (REOS) by Brighter Planet Technology Services

London (UK) 2: Delivering Scalable Energy Efficiency in Global Cities by First Fuel

Maringá (Brazil): Modern Urban Transport Information by Clever Devices

Mexico City (Mexico): Butler, improving elderly wellbeing by Universidad Jaume I de Castellón

Oulu (Finland): Augmented Museum Tour by metaio

Paris (France): Urban Parasol by Urban Parasol

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil): Online Emergency Triage Training Platform by Virtualwaregroup

Rosario (Argentina): Sustain-A-Raisers! by Global Awareness Local Action

San Francisco (USA): ClickSoftware Field Service Optimization by ClickSoftware

Sant Cugat (Spain): estonoesunsolar by pdimonte

Sheffield (UK) 1: Econotherm - Waste heat to District Heating by Econotherm

Sheffield (UK) 2: Borehole Thermal Energy Storage by - REHAU

Tacoma (USA):  OPOS:  One Planet Operating System for Cities by BioRegional

Terrassa (Spain): CityMakers by The Good Life For All

York (UK): Sunday Streets and Play Streets For All by Livable City

Sascha Haselmayer, CEO of said: “LLGA | Cities Pilot the Future has transformed the way cities and the innovation community collaborate. With the announcement of 23 winning solutions, selected out of more than 2,500 candidates, companies and organizations from around the world have shown their enthusiasm and ability to collaborate with cities in solving the most pressing urban and social challenges today.”

Low carbon leader award

Outside of the city challenge awards, The Climate Group presented a new ‘Revolutionary Low Carbon Leader Award’. This was awarded to Lowfoot, a Toronto-based company which produces software that allows citizens to earn money while reducing their energy bills.

Lowfoot was chosen by a judging panel of experts that included Climate KIC’s Zsolt Gemesi and Mark Watts from Arup, as well as senior executives from The Climate Group. Jim Walker, Co-founder and International Programs and Strategy Director, The Climate Group commented on Lowfoot’s award: “The judges recognized Lowfoot’s revolutionary potential to bring the benefits of industrial energy efficiency programs to small business owners. By providing opportunities to cut carbon emissions and make money in the process, Lowfoot is leading the way in the disruption of our energy systems by information technology.”

Other short-listed finalists for the Low Carbon Leader Award were: Intellistreets, Utility Cover Systems LLC, Bioregional, Groundswell, New Economics, Firstfuel, Freegle, Verbeterdebuurt, Dext Heat Recovery, UN Global Compact Cities Program and Groundtruth Initiative.      

Smarter cities report

In San Francisco, The Climate Group also announced a new report called FASTER, SMARTER, GREENER: The state of city innovation on climate change and other urban challenges. The report presents the findings from a survey and case study analysis of 50 diverse cities from around world who are engaged in efforts to improve their performance through smarter ICT and greater agility, offering key recommendations to deliver the lower carbon cities of the future. 

Image by Salim Virji

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