NewCities Announces 2017 Class of Global Urban Innovators

  • NewCities recognizes eight startups and social enterprises changing cities through cutting-edge innovation
  • Global Urban Innovators to play central role at NewCities Summit in Incheon Songdo, South Korea from June 7-9, 2017

Montréal, Canada – May 2, 2017. The NewCities Foundation today named eight startups and social enterprises as 2017 Global Urban Innovators. These promising young entreprises from around the world have been chosen for their innovative use of technology to address urban challenges and will join the NewCities celebrated community of Global Urban Innovators.

The Global Urban Innovators initiative highlights companies that have an impact in a range of areas. The Class of 2017 notably focuses on startups and social enterprises using technology to enhance and improve wellbeing for city dwellers, through mobility solutions, shaping greener neighborhoods and using data to create a safer urban environment. The Global Urban Innovators will play a leading role at the NewCities Summit in Incheon Songdo from June 7-9, where they will present their innovative approaches to hundreds of global leaders gathered to discuss the theme Thriving Cities: The Building Blocks of Urban Wellbeing.

Meet the 2017 Global Urban Innovators:

Alt-ASongdo, South Korea
Alt-A seeks to make spaces shared by human and vehicle traffic safer and smarter. Using 3D mapping, real-time data collection, and intelligent sensor technologies, their alert system increases safety for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

CityTaps – Paris, France
Leveraging the Internet of Things and smart water meters, CityTaps partners with local utility companies to guarantee water access to households, including the urban poor, allowing users to use mobile money to pre-pay for water and secure access directly at home.

Green City SolutionsBerlin, Germany
Green City Solutions are the creators of CityTree, combining a vertically installed moss culture with Internet of Things technology to address air pollution in cities. Each CityTree has the environmental equivalent of 275 urban trees, at a fraction of the space and maintenance costs.

Safetipin – Gurgaon, New Delhi
Safetipin is a map-based mobile application that works to make cities safer, with a focus on women’s safety. The app collects and disseminates safety-related information to both users and city decision-makers on a large scale through crowdsourcing and geospatial analysis.

Small ChangePittsburgh, USA
Small Change is a real estate equity crowdfunding portal to help fund transformational real estate projects, helping communities identify and deliver change-making, high-impact urban development.

SpinSan Francisco, USA
Spin’s mission is to help people move around cities. Their first product reimagines bikeshare – Spin’s GPS-equipped smart bikes are unlocked via a mobile app, and can be dropped off at any bike parking spot. By offering a convenient, affordable, and environmentally-friendly mode of transport, Spin aims to reduce congestion and improve last mile transportation in cities

WhereIsMyTransportCape Town, South Africa
WhereIsMyTransport provides an open platform for integrated transport data that provides users, developers, and cities with a comprehensive look at formal and informally run public transportation options, particularly in emerging African cities.

ZenCityTel Aviv, Israel
An Artificial Intelligence-based analytics dashboard, ZenCity tracks social media, municipal platforms and 411 telephone lines to provide city governments with real-time, actionable insights about citizens and municipal services to improve citizen experience of the city.

The Global Urban Innovators alumni include some of the world’s pioneers in urban tech, which continue to revolutionize cities worldwide. Alumni include the multi-award winning addressing system what3words, which has been adopted in Djibouti and Mongolia as the national addressing standard for their postal services. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has also partnered with alumnus Spacehive, a civic crowdfunding platform, to invite communities across the city to crowdfund urban projects. India-based Jugnoo, which started as an autorickshaw aggregator, has evolved into the go-to platform for everyday needs such as fresh fruits and vegetables, rides, and groceries in Chandigarh, India.

John Rossant, Chairman, NewCities said: “In many cities, visionary entrepreneurs are creating solutions to some of the most pressing urban challenges. Global Urban Innovators represent the very best, as their grassroots solutions make our cities easier to navigate, make them safer and leverage the Internet of Things to create a better life for citizens. We look forward to working with these startups, introducing them to our global network of industry and public sector players and helping them scale so their solutions may help cities around the world.”

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Learn more about the NewCities Summit 2017 at:


Press contact:
Thomas Ledwell
Director of Communications
+1 514 987 0029

About the NewCities Foundation

NewCities is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to making cities more inclusive, connected, healthy and vibrant. Focusing on people, places and policies, we bring together a global network of public and private sector leaders and Urban Tech innovators to foster results-oriented collaboration. We also produce actionable research that can be implemented by decision-makers across sectors.
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About the NewCities Summit 2017

The NewCities Summit gathers top entrepreneurs, policymakers, corporate leaders, designers and thinkers to work together to improve life in cities. The sixth edition of the Summit will take place in Incheon Songdo, South Korea from June 7-9, 2017 on the theme Thriving Cities: The Building Blocks of Urban Wellbeing. The new city of Incheon Songdo has been built with sustainability and wellbeing at its very core. This emerging Asian hub is a unique and dynamic backdrop for one of the most critically important conversations of our time: the future wellbeing of our cities and those who live in them.

Join the conversation on social media using #NewCitiesSummit and #GUInnovators