Manager   •   over 6 years ago

Challenge Ideas

Please use this thread to suggest and brainstorm any challenge ideas you may have for a web or mobile application that can be addressed during the 2016 Boston Cleanweb Hackathon.


  • Manager   •   over 6 years ago

    Check out these cool green app ideas provided by the EPA -

  • Manager   •   over 6 years ago

    The City of Boston’s Open Government Strategy “is about enhancing citizen engagement, improving policies, and improving the ability to manage government. Central to achieving these goals is the savvy use of new technologies which enable new forms of communication between citizens and government.”

    The City is looking toward the possibility of bringing together energy use data with performance management data to gain a better understanding of where and when different departments are using energy. This can lead to a strategic approach to reducing energy use and increasing energy efficiency throughout the city. The idea is to create a mobile or web based solution to take in and interpret this data. For more information about this idea, check out the “Cleanweb Hackathon City of Boston Data” here or speak to breakout session host Adam Jacobs from the City of Boston.

    Check out more information at:

  • Manager   •   over 6 years ago

    Challenge Idea from Opti RTC. Reach out to Scott Landers during his breakout session at 2:30!

    Background: In surveying some of the current challenges faced by the stormwater community, problems that could be substantively addressed by a web or mobile app in a weekend, we came across the topic of rain barrels. As part of the MS4 permit program (under the Clean Water Act), 100s of cities across the country encourage their residents to install rain barrels. By disconnecting downspouts and storing stormwater runoff in barrels distributed throughout a city or county, residents can reduce their stormwater runoff and become more sustainable by harvesting the rainwater for watering lawns and gardens. Many municipalities will often offer incentives or rebates on resident's water bills to do this!

    Problem: However, the barrels only prevent stormwater runoff when they're empty, and one of the biggest problems for the municipalities is that residents don't often empty the barrels before it rains!

    Challenge: We envision a mobile app that is developed to make residents aware of pending storms and encourage them to empty their barrels before the event. This provides maximum benefit to the utility and ensures that the residents will receive fresh rather than stagnant water. We imagine creating a community where residents are challenged to save more rain than their neighbors, there could be a leaderboard, and even gift card prizes to the top leaders in a community. We imagine the app could generate revenue through partnering directly with Utilities who would fund the app and/or through advertising around rain barrel products.

  • Manager   •   over 6 years ago

    Challenge Idea from Sierra Club. Check out their Info Desk from 11am-2pm!

    The Story: National Drive Electric Week started in 2011 as National Plug In Day, with the simple idea to hold simultaneous events across the country on the same day. The first National Plug In Day took place on Sunday, October 16, 2011 and was an unprecedented observance, drawing global attention to the environmental, economic and other benefits of plug-in electric vehicles. The day had simultaneous events staged in 29 cities across the nation. By popular demand we have expanded to an entire week of events and changed the name to emphasize the thing we all want to do: drive electric. We expect National Drive Electric Week 2016 will again grow to include more events in multiple cities with more drivers reaching out to share the many advantages of driving electric with the public. Currently there is a national goal of having 10 million electric vehicles (EVs) on the road by the year 2025. As part of this goal, Massachusetts has committed to reach 300,000 vehicles by this date.
    This year NDEW is scheduled for September 10-18, 2016 and will be nationwide celebration to heighten awareness of today's widespread availability of plug-in vehicles (PEVs) and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars (PHEV), trucks, motorcycles, and more. We hope to share how fun EVs are to drive, how they are less expensive over time and more convenient to fuel than gasoline vehicles. Additionally, EVs are better for the environment, promote local jobs, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The event is geared towards folks who are considering going electric, and aims to connect them to current EV owners.

    The challenge: Develop a downloadable app to be used on smart phones and tablets for the National Drive Electric Week (NDEW). The goal of this app is for folks to be able to see where and when NDEW events are occurring (GPS function) and sign-up to attend or organize an NDEW event. Users will also be able to receive updates from the organizer about the events they signed up for. Ideally the app connects with the users social media so they can post about the event (i.e. check-in on Facebook or post photos from the event to their social media). This app would ideally have a similar layout and be able to communicate with the NDEW website (

  • Manager   •   over 6 years ago

    Galen Nelson proposed this idea last night:

    Here's a challenge related to EV adoption that I'd love someone to tackle. While MA and other states are now offering generous incentives to consumers to purchase electric vehicles, many more buyers might be moved into the 'yes' column if they understood how much less it costs to own and operate an EV (paying for electricity vs. gas).

    The challenge concept is fairly straight forward. Develop an app that allows users to enter information about their gas powered vehicle (year, make, model). By leveraging the phone/smart device's native GPS functionality, and publicly available retail gas pricing information, the app should produce an operational savings estimate for the consumer after 2-4 weeks of driving. In other words, it should answer the question, "how much could I have saved over the last month (and how much could I save annually) if I had been driving an EV, instead of a gas powered vehicle. An added bonus, the app could also calculate emissions reductions based on publicly available information about the GHG profile of grid power in New England vs. publicly available gasoline emission data.

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