The WNY Civic Hackathon has bestowed three top honors to contestants who came together to pitch their socially conscious projects. Amidst a number of worthy candidates, the winners demonstrated their ability to enact civic engagement through technology.
The winners include:
- Grand prize ($2,000): Community Air Quality, created by John O’Brien (Buffalo), the civic app analyses air quality from a broad range of qualitative and quantitative responses to illustrate the state of the air in a specific neighborhood. It allows a user to register their phone number in the general database and answer a small set of questions on the relationship between individual lung health and environmental factors (asthma, smoking, allergies), individuals receive regularly scheduled surveys to gather information on their neighborhood set-up and related health experiences (frequency of asthma attacks). Along with the surveys, the application is equipped with additional tools that can be accessed via special keywords. These tools can be used to report sources of pollution as well as associated concerns.
- Second place ($1,000): Thought4Food, created by Mary and Gregory Everhart (Kenmore); is a civic app that helps make it easier to donate food that cannot be sold or used. It helps those who donate, especially farmers, realize the potential tax credits available by calculating their potential credits based on the USDA commodity market value. This helps to demonstrate the value of donations by businesses or farmers and makes donation a more viable option.
- Third place ($500): Buffalo Snow, created by Jesse Thomson (Buffalo), a civic app that provides real time locations for municipal snowplows and weather data for what roads are clear throughout Western New York to provider drivers knowledge on road conditions and making winter travel safer.
The event emulated many of the parameters set in place by National Day of Hacking, which rallies urbanists, civic hackers, government staff, developers, designers, community organizers, etc., to come together to initiate civic change through technological programming initiatives.
The WNY Civic Hackathon was hosted by: AT&T, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, University at Buffalo’s Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and Office of Science, Technology Transfer and Economic Outreach (STOR) , dig Buffalo, WNY Innovation Hot Spot, InfoTech WNY and Buffalo Open Data.
For more information regarding the WNY Civic Hackathon visit, wnycivichack.com.