Winning app lets folks borrow stuff and get to know the neighbors

Wed, 2014-06-25 06:00 -- Doug Cooley

A mobile app that encourages friendliness -- both the neighborly and environmental kind -- won the $5,000 AppMyCity! contest at the recent New Cities Summit in Dallas.

Called Peerby, the Dutch-built app enables people to borrow things quickly from their neighbors and in the process avoid driving to the store and accumulating items they don’t need to own. The sharing platform is designed to promote social cohesion, sustainability and social entrepreneurship. Peerby has also won prizes in the United Postcode Lotteries and Clinton Global Initiative.

The Peerby concept is simple: Users post a request for the item they want to borrow, and neighbors registered with Peerby will get a push notification about it. If they have the item and want to lend it, they can respond.

The Peerby website explains it this way:  “Peerby starts by asking the people in your direct neighborhood. If there is no response within a reasonable time frame, we extend the radius more and more, until we’ve asked a maximum of 100 members of the Peerby community. We will always keep it within cycling distance, of course.”

“By establishing contact with your neighbors, you not only save time, money, and storage space yourself, you can also explore your neighborhood in a fun way.”

Two runners-up named

Two other apps were named runners up in the voting at the New Cities Summit. One was Djump, a peer-to-peer ride-sharing service that lets users request a ride from Djump registered drivers and lets drivers answer those requests. Users can track drivers in real time, and can choose to give a donation at the end of the ride.

The other app was SocialCyclist, which lets bike riders map their preferred routes, report hazardous road conditions, and vote on their preferred site locations for future cycling infrastructure.

To see other great apps developed for cities, check out our Smart Cities Apps Gallery