Mobility for All Abilities Hackathon – Call for Submissions!

New York City faces a mobility crisis. From inaccessible subway stations, congested streets, aging infrastructure, and traffic violence against pedestrians and cyclists, the ability to roam freely about NYC seems more fraught than ever. Moving from place to place takes longer, costs more, oftentimes feels unsafe, and can even be impossible. For some people, even more so than for others.

Mobility in NYC can and must be effective, efficient and dignifying. The ability to move freely and easily within a city is facilitated by physical and digital tools that we create— tools that live in social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. The future of mobility in NYC must take into account and adapt to the needs of all NYC residents. New York needs a modern vision for mobility where the modus operandi is for the people of all abilities.

On this year’s National Day of Civic Hacking, BetaNYC, and Makerspace NYC are challenging New Yorkers to reimagine how all people move about the streets. We are inviting a diverse collection of individuals, organizations, and government stakeholders to come together in response to pressing issues hampering mobility in NYC. Join us for a day of civic action devoted to building safer, more equitable and more effective solutions to urban mobility that work for all abilities.

Event: Mobility for All Abilities Hackathon
Date: Saturday, September 21, 2019
Location: Makerspace Brooklyn, Brooklyn Army Terminal, Building B, Unit 1C, 140 58th St, Brooklyn, NY 11220

Call for submissions!!

Want to get involved? Right now, we’re calling for challenge submissions, sponsors and partners. Express your interest by filling out the form!

For more information about what we’re looking for, read on below:

Submitting a Challenge

Do you have an idea or are you working on a project that improves mobility in NYC? Come develop your project with transit and safe streets advocates, civic hackers, technologists, designers, data scientists, elected officials, and other NYC stakeholders.

We’re looking for projects that address a range of mobility challenges facing a range of New Yorkers. As a challenge organizer, you come to the table with a project that others can work on with you during the event. Use the tips below to shape your proposal.

Timeline: Please submit your project by Saturday, August 10th

Format: Projects can be digital, analytical, and/or physical! Our venue partner, Makerspace NYC, is outfitted with state of the art tools and equipment ,and a professional team of technicians that can be available to help with special tooling based on project needs. If you anticipate wanting to access any of their tools, materials, equipment or technicians, please let us know in the space provided in the form.
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An effective challenge is:

  • Clearly articulated. Projects should have a clear question or problem they are trying to solve plus a reasonably specific proposed solution.
  • Attainable. Most projects will accomplish about 25% of what they think they can accomplish in the limited time they have. Manage each project’s goals so participants are able to feel accomplished at the end of the session, not interrupted. Our event will be one day. Actual hacking time will vary, but expect people to have about five hours to work on a project.
  • Easy to onboard newcomers. Projects should have ready-to-go tasks for newcomers with a variety of skills and at a variety of skill levels. For coding or physical projects, these tasks can’t require an intimate understanding of the code base, and make sure the build environment can be spun up in less than 20 minutes. Make a list of tasks or create github issues ahead of time!
  • Led by a stakeholder. A stakeholder (or “subject matter expert”) guides a project to real-world relevance. Projects without a stakeholder can “solve” a problem that doesn’t exist. Ideally the leader (or one of the leaders) is a stakeholder, or a good proxy for a stakeholder. It is never enough for a project leader to just be an ideas person.
  • Organized. We’re imaging 10 people per project. Ideally, you are the project’s leader’s and  should be able to coordinate, ensuring each team member has something to work on and helping to welcome new team members.


Questions? Contact

Event Sponsorships and Partnerships

Thank you for your interest in supporting the event!

Our goal is to fundraise $30,000 to cover costs of event production, venue, food/beverage, childcare, and technical staff. We’ve come up with several opportunities for sponsors and partners to support us in achieving it. Please fill out the form indicating the type of participation you are interested in, and we will be in touch shortly.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss another way of supporting or partnering around the event, you can email Kate at