Miami-Dade County announces the winners of the Ford City of Tomorrow Challenge
Miami-Dade County today announces the winners of the Ford City of Tomorrow Challenge™. The Challenge is a crowdsourcing platform for residents, businesses and community groups to propose and pilot solutions that improve mobility in Miami-Dade County. The Challenge is a nine-month process of listening and learning about residents' issues, accepting pilot proposals and ultimately choosing a winner.
Soofa and PikMyKid have been chosen as co-winners of the 2018 Miami-Dade County City of Tomorrow Challenge. The teams that put together their solutions will each receive $50,000 in funding to test the implementation of their proposal in a real-world setting.
Soofa makes solar-powered digital bulletin boards and proposes to display real-time public and alternative transit options as well as other local content in up to three neighborhoods. PikMyKid is a mobile app and platform that supports parents and children by making school transportation more efficient, timely and comfortable. In Miami-Dade County, PikMyKid proposes to pilot with eight to 10 schools.
“We are excited to see the results these projects will yield. This challenge provided a platform for diverse groups to work together on new and innovative solutions that will directly impact their communities and greatly improve our overall mobility,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez.
Alice N. Bravo, P.E., Director of Miami-Dade County’s Department of Transportation and Public Works, said this challenge opened up an opportunity for local residents and industry leaders to come together and leverage new technology to generate solutions that will improve mobility today and in decades to come.
“It’s no secret that through technologies that are evolving quickly, public transportation will be greatly transformed over the next decade. However, we are facing mobility challenges that need to be addressed right now,” said Bravo. “We need all available solutions that make it simple for residents and visitors to understand their transportation options and know how to use them. I believe the winning proposals will do just that.”
The goal of the projects are reflective of the Miami-Dade central question. How might we make daily journeys fresh, easy and adaptable to the needs of Miami-Dade residents? Both of the pilot winners will support this question by providing information through digital billboards to help people navigate the County and through adaptable transit for children and parents.
“These proposals – created by Miami-Dade residents for Miami-Dade residents – are exactly the kind of community engagement we hoped to inspire with the City of Tomorrow Challenge,” said John Kwant, vice president, Ford City Solutions. “No one understands a community’s mobility problems better than its own residents, and the Challenge is a way to empower people to improve mobility in their neighborhoods in a direct way.”
Launched in June, the City of Tomorrow Challenge is a crowdsourcing platform created to help prepare cities for the future by identifying new mobility designs and innovations that could improve the way people get around.
The Challenge platform brought together officials, residents and local businesses in Miami-Dade County as well as program sponsors AT&T, Dell Technologies, Microsoft and the Knight Foundation, encouraging people to share their mobility experiences. AT&T, Dell Technologies, Microsoft and the Knight Foundation were key supporters throughout the process.
After receiving hundreds of stories from Miami-Dade residents and more than 130 different proposals for ideas, the Challenge’s Steering Committee selected 15 finalists. Those finalists had the opportunity to work with a mentor and local accelerator to further refine their proposals before a winner was selected.
Throughout the Challenge, people were encouraged to submit ideas in three key areas:
• Enabling smart transportation options: How can we develop real-world solutions that make it intuitive for travelers to know what their transportation options are? Someone who has never used a bus in Miami might not know how to pay for a trip, and a visitor to Miami might not know the differences in options between Miami and Miami Beach. Potential solutions could tackle how you might make checking transportation options as easy and habitual as checking the weather.
• Extending mobility options: How can we make it easier to access the existing transportation network and make it more adaptable to people’s changing needs? Some jobs may require people to travel to different places each day, while parents may have to travel with kids and drop them off at daycare before work. Proposals could make planning these trips easier or fill the gap between where people are and where they can catch public or shared transportation.
• Encouraging walking, biking or busing: How can we increase the appeal of walking, biking and taking the bus? A traveler may not know what areas are safe for walking or biking, for example. Potential solutions could tackle existing barriers and create opportunities to make public transit the first choice for daily commutes.
For more information on the semi-finalists and other proposals that were submitted, visit the City of Tomorrow Challenge website.