Successful closing of the international, digital ideas competition #SolutionsForCities

Cities around the world are facing similar challenges. What can we learn from the Covid-19 pandemic? How can we sustainably transfer creative solutions in a long-term perspective? To tackle these questions, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI) initiated the international, digital ideas competition #SolutionsForCities.

The ideas competition #SolutionsForCities supported cities and municipalities in finding digital solutions for their current local challenges. Representatives of the Smart Cities model projects from Bamberg, Kaiserslautern, Kassel, Amt Süderbrarup and Wolfsburg participated in the competition. From the International Smart Cities Network, the cities of Guadalajara in Mexico, Miraflores in Peru, Fortaleza in Brazil, and Kochi, Coimbatore and Bhubaneshwar in India took part. 

In the past weeks numerous digital solutions have been submitted for the 11 participating cities as answers to their local challenges on the #SolutionsForCities platform. During the Scalathon, a three-day virtual workshop, selected solution providers worked closely together with the cities and municipalities, to refine the digital solutions and to adapt them to the concrete local challenges. 

Announcement of winning teams and closing of the ideas competition at the New Leipzig Charter – Digital Conference 

On December 02, 2020, the winning teams were announced at New Leipzig Charter Digital Symposium. The best solution for each of the six areas of action of the competition was awarded. We thank all participating teams for their great commitment. The #SolutionsForCities ideas competition has demonstrated how insights from the pandemic period were applied for an urban development oriented towards the common good. 

Area of Action 1: Best Digital Solution for Social Cohesion

Challenge: “Keeping in touch during times of social distancing”

Cities: Kaiserslautern & Wolfsburg

Digital solution: Hello Again by Capalogic GmbH from Wolfsburg, Germany

Easy-to-use video communication app adapted to the needs of the elderly, and that can be managed remotely by relatives. 

Area of Action 2: Best Digital Solution for Access
Challenge: “Empower digital literacy to increase participation”
City: Amt Süderbrarup
Digital solution: WeCreate Amt Süderbrarup by WeCreate from Leipzig, Germany
Providing a digital interface for engagement, networking and project management, which builds on offered analog workshops and networking events.

Area of Action 3: Best Digital Solution for Vibrant Urban & Local Centres

Challenge: “Strengthening the local market in the
Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara, Mexico“

City: Metropolitan Area of Guadalajara

Digital solution: Online Market Solution “Mi Mercado AMG” by Kampala Capital City Authority from Kampala, Uganda

The online sales platform enables local retailers to offer their products even during the pandemic. A sustainable delivery service guarantees the population to avoid physical contact. 

Area of Action 4: Best Digital Solution for Mobility

Challenge: “Efficiently manage overcrowded public spaces (sidewalks, parks etc.) by people and micro-mobility vehicles to improve infrastructure demands”

City: Miraflores

Digital solution: PIMUS Plattform for Citizen Proposal Digital Inventory and CaminAPP by Municipalities Tecate & Tijuana and the federal state Baja California from Mexico  

Citizens have the opportunity to report problems, such as overcrowded squares or run-down streets, and suggest possible solutions to the city administration. In this way, citizens, experts and the city administration can work together on solutions. 

Area of Action 5: Best Digital Solution for Resilience

Challenge: “Avoid overcrowding in highly frequented, touristic areas of Bamberg”

City: Bamberg

Digital solution: Smart Tourism – A Data and Services Platform 4 Citizens by Engineering DSS GmbH from Düsseldorf, Germany, based on the Open Source Plattform of FIWARE

The number of pedestrians at certain public spaces in Bamberg is detected by sensors and displayed in real time via an app and public display boards. Visitors can be guided to points of interest (PoI) via a navigation service.

Area of Action 6: Best Digital Solution for Digital Competence

Challenge: “Fostering digital competencies of city officials”

City: Bhubaneshwar
The city used the Scalathon to further specify its challenge and formulate next steps. It is intented to design a self-learning platform to promote digital competence for municipal administrative employees.