City Challenges

Weekly Experimenter News and Events

This is the first of a weekly blog, where our experimenters will share what they’ve been working on and keep you updated on any upcoming events.

You can also follow the experiments on our new Instagram account, which the experimenters will be taking over each week to showcase their work.



We started our activities in the City of London with an experiment on participatory traffic monitoring using IoT sensors. The experiment focuses on measuring traffic in and around the borough of Hackney, and in particular, the zone around the Shoreditch triangle. We have now placed two sensors – one in Hoxton Square and the other on Bethnal Green Road – and have already gathered many interesting findings! Read more here.

Learn more about Traffic Flow here.



It’s user-testing time for Smart Buddy Santander! We’ve recently held two more co-creation meetings with neighbour associations (NA), which this time were not held in the City Hall, but in community centres located in their areas.

Our initial co-creation meetings were focused on thinking about the platform features and asking the neighbours about tourism recommendations. These meetings were held in computer rooms, so that we could perform proper user-testing, while helping the NA representatives to create their own login and upload the recommendations that their associations had already prepared. The results of these tests were really good and the content of Smart Buddy is growing. After these sessions, we now have 152 points of interest on the map!

Learn more about City Makers here.



We held our Hackathon last weekend. We had 30 coders, developers, and UX designers working together to come up with ideas for products which would help vision impaired commuters. In the afternoon we had vision impaired volunteers visit the hackspace, so that they could give feedback and insight to the teams on the ideas they were working on, and to give them some first hand experience on what it’s like to travel on the tube with little or no sight. On Sunday, each team was able to trial their idea in an abandoned part of Earl’s Court underground station to a panel of judges.

Learn more about Wayfindr here.



We are now carrying out the second phase of the experiments in the WalkInCity project in the city of Santander, Spain. We are installing a new version of our Android App “InCity Together” for the Association of Elderly People Eulalio Ferrer.



MyCityBeauty starts shining. The first release has been tested and successfully connected to the OrganiCity Facility and the first photos (see picture below) can now be shared between users. We are still coping with some integration issues, but are looking forward to experiencing the app with all of you – and co-create the City Beauty Nissatech.

Learn more about the Nissatech here.



When: Weds, 8 February 2017 / 18:45 – 21:30 GMT

Where: 133 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 7DG, UK

How can technology help us combat London’s air pollution crisis? 

Short talks, followed by drink & discussion.

This event, the first in a series, aims to introduce the challenge of air quality from a scientific, regulatory and political context, and the communities and projects that are helping to raise awareness and affect behavioural change to reduce air pollution in London.

Poor air quality is responsible for approximately 9,500 deaths in London every year. London breached EU annual limits on air pollution in just five days this year. The Mayor of London has dedicated almost £1billion of funding over the next five years to fighting the capital’s toxic air. Boroughs are implementing new stricter rules. London is now mobilising against air pollution.

Drinks and snacks will be provided. Speakers TBC shortly.


  • to showcase and understand the different approaches being taken to advance air quality monitoring;
  • to explore the potential for new tech to spark change; and to
  • to uncover common challenges which might be blocking action, whether on a city, state or European level.

Register for the event here.

Learn more about AirPublic here.


When: Weds, 15 February 2017 / 18:00 – 20:00 GMT

Where: Urban Innovation Centre, 1 Sekforde Street, London, EC1R 0BE, UK

‘Walking through the Tranquil City’ Workshop

We at Tranquil City would like to invite you to participate in a workshop to explore how we all can use tranquillity to choose healthier journeys through London and encourage low-impact transport methods.

Using our Tranquil Pavement Map, that displays crowdsourced tranquil areas as well low noise and pollution zones, we want you to experiment with and explore alternative routes between your typical destinations. These may be between home and work, or home and your favourite park or coffee shop.

We believe that by actively choosing our journeys to be slower, more beautiful, more in touch with nature and more tranquil, we can all improve our health and quality of life as city dwellers.

Register for the event here.

Learn more about Tranquil City here.


The Open Opps’ Organicity project will deepen understanding of how the public sector in London does business. We’re looking for beta users who would be willing to try it out. These beta users should be anyone interested in civil society, particularly in how government spends money. Whether you’re interested from a transparency, anti-corruption or business perspective, please get in touch:

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