The submission deadline for the Living Labs Global Award 2012 has come and gone, and showcase evaluations are heating up. Solutions to a host of city challenges have been submitted and are being reviewed for this year’s round of awards. 717 innovative ideas were submitted for consideration this year, from ways to harness kinetic energy from sports facilities to ideas for collecting real-time data on public transit systems. 21 cities in 14 countries are taking part in this year’s awards selection. A jury panel of local and international experts from each city will review the submissions and select those that best address their city’s challenge for innovative technological solutions. The awards are designed to benefit both the partner cities and the solution providers; cities have the opportunity to learn more about cutting-edge ideas that can help them solve their most pressing problems, and winning solution providers get to test their prototypes or pilot projects in a real-world market before launching a full-scale campaign.
This year’s partner cities have put forth a diverse group of challenges. Lavasa, India is seeking proposals that will help encourage residents and visitors to use public transit and non-motorized transportation for the majority of their trips in the city. Barcelona, Spain wants ideas on how to better integrate tourists and visitors into city life and culture during their stay. And hundreds of companies, NGOs, and research institutes have responded to the challenges put forward this year.
The LLGA shortlist for each city challenge will be presented in two weeks on March 5th. Projects chosen from the nominees' shortlist will be announced this May at the Rio Summit on Service Innovation in Cities. Until then, you can check out the diverse selection of submitted showcases on CityMart.
~ Allison Bullock