Talking Civic Tech: Innovation Solving Real-World Issues


Talking Civic Tech: Innovation Solving Real-World Issues

It’s amazing what can happen when great minds get together to solve real-world problems through technology. The 2017 NXT City Prize Challenge #4, presented by Code for Canada, invites bold ideas for how to pair technology to enhance our public realm. What’s a problem you see facing our public realm? And how might you leverage technology to solve it?

NYC’s BigApps competition generated a number of civic innovation ideas from the public, including this mobile app that simplifies public transit by crowdsourcing real-time data to create more reliable, user-friendly maps. The result? More accurate information and a better experience for all riders.


In Edmonton, civic servants, citizens, and the tech community meet regularly to address pressing issues in the city. Over the years, this has led to a number of iniatives – everything from a crowdsourced map of arts and culture hotspots and a network of DIY weather monitoring stations.

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Public Defibrillator App
Public safety is a big part of our public realm. Code for Germany has generated a number of innovative solutions to simple civic challenges – from an app that tracks the closest defibrillator to an app that monitors water quality.

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Civic tech is taking off in East Africa, with a number of online platforms to hold governments and media accountable. This app connects farmers with real-time agricultural information in local languages.

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One of our favourites, Nesterly, is a social enterprise that connects elderly people who may have challenges living independently with young people who exchange help around the house for cheaper rent.

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