New York City wants to revamp the humble city payphone and is looking to the community for ideas. Grand in size and scale, the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge looks to give the city’s 11,000 public payphones the “wow” factor, but more importantly, give people the functionality they really need. Designers need to keep in mind issues of connectivity, design, community impact, sustainability, accessibility and safety, but once the basics are covered the sky’s the limit. It’s a fantastic way to stimulate innovation and foster new ideas.

The Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge is the third public innovation challenge to launch as part of the New York City’s ‘Reinvent’ programme. One project was Reinvent Green, the city’s first sustainability hackathon. It called on the technology and design community to come together to build digital tools and applications that support New Yorkers in leading greener lives. The winning apps made crowdsourcing recycling and bike pooling just that much easier for us city folk.

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Kevin Roberts

Kevin Roberts is founder of Red Rose Consulting; business leader and educator; author and speaker; adviser on marketing, creative thinking and leadership.


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