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GreenStar Hub Smart City App Wins Mobile App Challenge hosted by King Abdullah Economic City

4153GreenStar Hub (GSH) has just launched what is being touted by smart city experts as “the most comprehensive green smart city mobile app ever built.” The app, which was designed specifically for the Saudi government’s new “mega city,” King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), provides an innovative tool for businesses and residences to find products, services, and aggregated purchasing opportunities so that they can prosper at KAEC.

Going forward, GSH hopes to collaborate with the Saudi government’s Economic Cities Authority (ECA), Emaar, private businesses, and smart city technology leaders (IBM, Cisco, Microsoft, and others) to integrate GSH’s technology platform into KAEC’s supporting smart city infrastructure.

The smart city app called “KAEC for All” is expected to provide information and reporting that will improve the environmental and economic health of the city and its residents. With business-to-consumer features like a business directory, calendar events, job openings, transportation information, permit statuses, and marketplace, the app brings a new level of useful comprehensive solutions and data-sharing to smart cities.

The smart city app also provides business-to-government features such as: eGov services, tenders, ideas and problems submission, citywide microblogging, community buying, discussion forum, Industrial Valley/Port/Residential project information, green policies, and geo-tagged nearby businesses. The app has enabled technologies to accommodate for ECA eGov services for real-time application and status tracking.

“As KAEC is already a leader in the development of smart cities, we are thrilled to be able to implement what has already been called ‘the most comprehensive green smart city mobile app ever built’,” said Fahd Al-Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of KAEC. “It will be a tremendously useful tool in making KAEC the premier living destination in the Kingdom.”

Why did GreenStar Hub launch a smart city app for KAEC?

GSH was looking for a city to pilot its technology; KAEC is a mega economic city with seamless technology integration opportunities. When GSH CEO visited KAEC to learn about the city’s sustainability efforts and needs, he also learned about KAEC’s mobile app challenge. “I had a very positive impression of KAEC and its management team on my visit as I learned about the green initiatives and design challenges overcame as they design, build, and rollout a sustainable economic city,” says Tam Phung, CEO of GreenStar Hub. “Fahd Al Rasheed, Managing Director and CEO of KAEC, and his team designed a master plan and rollout that minimizes environmental impact, yet meets the goals of shareholders, businesses, and residences”, Phung added.

Winning the Challenge:

GSH’s KAEC for All app won the “Best Overall” award among 29 other entrants from around the world. Startups and large companies were encouraged to submit existing or prototype apps. The judges based their decision on: creativity, usefulness, and commercialization potential.

“With a sound communications infrastructure already in place,” said Fahd Hamidaddin, Head of Marketing, Communications and Sustainability at KAEC. “GreenStar Hub saw the opportunity to develop an app that could use what was already in place to bring services directly to the hands of residents and business owners.”

“There were many great entries. KAEC for All app has innovative technologies that met the criteria for winning the app challenge. We are excited about the potential this app has to offer,” says Fahd Hamidaddin, KAEC App Challenge Judge, Head of Marketing, Communication, & Corporate Sustainability, EEC.

Saudi Arabia is an emerging mobile market with massive construction projects in the pipeline for the Economic Cities with KAEC being the largest. Governments globally are taking sustainability seriously with mandates requiring sustainable practices to be adopted. GSH enabling technologies will help these cities achieve their goals. GSH plans to launch a version for New York City with strong interest from cities in Asia, Latin America, and the US.

There are three unique features of the new GreenStar Hub smart city app:

Green-In allows businesses to showcase how they are going green as well as their best practices, products and green initiatives. GreenStar Hub uses a 1-5 leaf rating system to score how truly green the product is.

Community Buying allows businesses and residents to aggregate their buying power improving return on investment and increase sales for vendors.

GreenWall allows businesses and service providers to showcase green, sustainable practices, products and services. Users can view a brief bio on businesses and their community members. Government agencies will receive real-time ideas and problems reported by the users.

“New York City is quickly emerging as a leader in sustainable businesses, thanks to the innovation of local companies like GreenStar Hub,” said David Gilford, Vice President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “This award is a great example of how technology can accelerate the adoption of sustainable products and services, both here in New York City and across the world.”

It is now available on the Android market and can be found in Google’s Play Store. The iPhone version will be released later this month. Additional mobile smart city apps are currently being developed for NYC and other cities.

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