SmartCityPHL and SolveOpen Challenge Residents To Become Solvers

SmartCityPHL – part of Philadelphia’s Office of Innovation and Technology – is partnering with SolveOpen to provide a collaborative innovation platform that defines the city’s challenges and invites proposed solutions from anyone with ideas.

“This partnership will help us bring new voices into smart city conversations,” said SmartCityPHL Director Emily Yates. “We hope that both innovators and the city as a whole will benefit from this unique platform for identifying and testing new ideas.”

The SolveOpen website includes the “Challenge Center,” which contains city-based challenges that lack clear-cut solutions. The challenges presented invite anyone who wants to contribute to Philadelphia’s smarter future to offer solutions. Winners will collaborate with city agencies to bring their ideas into reality, and also receive cash grants starting at $1,000.

The project’s first two challenges focus on helping city government present information differently so it can better serve residents:

  • The City currently offers programs that support businesses in becoming more socially responsible and sustainable. It is looking for ideas that can help make this decision in two ways:
    • some programs serve specific sectors or focus on businesses that meet certain eligibility criteria and the City wants to be able to help them better navigate these opportunities; and,
    • shifting to business practices that have a positive social impact can incur up-front expenses, yet may benefit the business in the long term. How can businesses evaluate the potential benefits of these changes?
  • The City regularly collects LiDAR -a special type of imagery that supports the City’s Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications. How can the City use this data to support goals such as improving city services, saving public funds, better maintaining infrastructure, increasing public safety or health, and/or increasing resilience to climate change?

Submit your idea at