Soil IQ looks to design, data and connectivity to make gardening and farming more sustainable via gigaom
Startup Re:char has spun out a new venture called Soil IQ, which will launch the entrepreneurs’ connected soil sensor gadget, and the new company announced last week that it’s working with designer Yves Behar and his design firmfuseproject to create the device.
Can Urban Planning Help India’s Cities Reduce Sexual Violence?
Urban planners and designers argue that apart from better policing, gender-sensitive city planning and design can help make India’s cities safer for women. Patterns of crime in a city, according to these experts, vary according to its urban design.
One of the most striking components of urban infrastructure in New Delhi is the Ring Road, a massive circular road that circles the city. It passes through several desolate areas of the city and has vast stretches without any traffic lights for miles.
Source: The New York Times
How to Fund Transit Without Raising Fares or Cutting Service
Eric Jaffe. July 18, 2013
When Mark Aesch became head of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority, back in 2004, the metro area’s bus system was in terrible shape. The agency carried a $4.5 million deficit and on-time performance was stuck at 76 percent. Officials wanted to approach the problem the way so many other city agencies were handling similar situations at the time: with a fare hike. Aesch said no.
"There was no way in my judgment we could ask the customer to pay more for an underperforming experience," he recalls.
Not only did Aesch keep his pledge not to raise fares, but in 2008 he actually lowered them. By the time he left the position, at the end of 2011, Aesch and his creative approach had transformed Rochester’s bus system into a total winner. Buses drove fewer miles, carried more passengers, and boasted a 91 percent on-time record. The agency accumulated a $35.5 million surplus while decreasing its reliance on taxpayer funding by more than a third.”
Last night’s NYC Generation Tech session at Google’s NYC office brought together high school students and professionals from the tech world in an inspiring setting.
The night began with guest speakers from Google who provided a history and overview of the company’s vision. Amber Hampton - a user experience researcher and previous GenTech mentor - kicked it off with a slide on “doing cool things that matter.” She cited Google’s ubiquity in day-to-day life (from search to maps). Alex Chu, a Google software engineer, gave remarks on his role at Google testing products.
NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball also paid a visit, speaking on the importance of cultivating top tech talent to keep the city’s economy competitive. After dinner in Google’s cafeteria with the students, he provided feedback to some of the teams pitching their business.
NYCGenTech’s challenge for the students is to create an app that improves education or city life for students in New York City. Titled the ‘My City, My Schools Challenge’, each student plays a a specific role on his/her team- President, Operations Officer, Lead Engineer, Data Specialist, or Marketing Officer - simulating that of an actual company. Students then demo their completed app and pitch it at Demo Night on September 19th for a first place prize of $5,000.
There are nine apps in the running and they tackle a wide range of issues. From Healthr, a social health game encouraging a healthier lifestyle in teenagers, to NYCLoop, an event-finding app for young adults, the ideas are judged on both presentation and functionality of the app. Check out all nine apps here.
Amber Hampton, a former GenTech mentor, says the best part of the program is seeing the progress students make.
“To see how much improvement is made from idea inception to the final presentation is amazing,” she said.
Be sure to check out nycgenerationtech.com/ for more information on the program and upcoming events.
Innovation and the City, Part II.
This report profiles 25 of the best policy innovations from cities across the U.S. and around the globe—giving mayors and other municipal leaders the ability to learn from their peers and develop new policies based on models that have already proven effective.
Human Motion Will Power the Internet of Things, Say Energy Harvesting Engineers | MIT Technology Review
Most people generate enough power to continuously transmit data at a rate of 1 Kb/s, say researchers who have audited the harvestable energy from human motion