Chicago Runs on Brain Power

What does Chicago need that hasn’t been thought of already?  How about a chance to utilize the brain power of its citizens to help the government build a stronger place for people to live, work and visit.  Dozens of Chicago-area developers and teams will be submitting apps for the first, Apps for Metro Chicago contest.  This initiative started with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Governor Pat Quinn and Cook County Board President, Toni Preckwinkle.   It was created to support and encourage innovation in civic government with the help of its residents to help other residents through new apps.

Cities like San Fransisco, New York and D.C. have already downloaded the trend.  They opened up their city government data and have several apps that made the transition from proof of concept to wide acceptance.  For example, some of the apps created through this contest help address the perennial challenge of transportation including apps that help citizens find their cars and to identify efficient routes to navigate cities more efficiently. The winner this year is a new start-up called Spothero which is an app that allows users to reserve a parking spot in advance.  Consider how hard it it to find a spot for a White Sox or Cubs game!   With the community app category, now there is a chance for Joe and Jane Public to produce solutions to the problems that cause concern and that we care about.

The contest that has created engagement and a sense of community among Chicago developers, organizations and advocates for change runs from June 24 – December 16.  This includes the time of application submission to the announcement of the winners.

Ok, ok, so you might not have the idea to create and design an app, but you can still vote for one!  Check out the rules of participation at

Be a part of Chicago’s brain power!

(image provided by John Medina)


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