Knowlton Planning Students Win APA Mobile Application Design Competition

Knowlton School City and Regional Planning students Jake Boehk, Andrew Bowsher, Ashley Hofmaster, Kalindi Parikh and Lia Yakumithis have won the American Planning Association’s competition Innovating Planning Apps for Planners: A Student and Emerging Professional Challenge. The competition was run through the APA’s Technology Division and was created “to challenge students and emerging professionals to come up with ‘proposals’ for web-based and mobile applications that will help the planning profession and the communities we serve.” As competition winners, Knowlton School team members were awarded $1,000 and their submission, Chip-In, will be featured in a future APA-Technology Division Newsletter publication.

An audience of attendees at the Tech Division's session at the 2015 APA National Conference in Seattle voted to determine which entry was awarded the grand prize, using the following selection criteria: 1) originality, 2) implementation, 3) functionality and use, 4) quality of presentation, and 5) significance to planning. The Knowlton School City and Regional Planning team’s entry, Chip-In, bested eight other apps.

Chip-In was designed to address the following problem:

“Some of the most impactful city planning projects are those that simultaneously improve the physical environment and promote a sense of community. Community projects such as urban gardens, playgrounds, markets, property maintenance and renovations all foster a sense of ownership amongst the people who contribute. However, many of the community projects detailed in city plans never get implemented because of a lack of resources or manpower. Chip-In is an application that provides an accessible and exciting solution to these problems, while also promoting pride in communities and getting residents involved in the implementation phase of the planning process. It connects planners and motivated community members to the funds and volunteers they need to accomplish projects while keeping the community engaged on social media. Chip-In: Making service social.”

For a look at how the app works, watch their video (linked to in the slideshow above).

In the wake of their winning performance in Seattle, the team has updated content on its social media pages. The Chip-In blog, Facebook and Twitter pages contain information on where the team is now and about its goals going forward regarding development of the app. Currently, team members are creating collaborative relationships with faculty and students at Ohio State and other schools and communicating with professional developers. Team member Jake Boehk has been asked to do a couple of speaking engagements about Chip-In. Once the development and business plan is in place, the team will approach investors to attract the capital necessary to accomplish the project.