BioSmiles©, NYC. Green Infrastructure Made Easy

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BioSmiles© is a web platform focused on allowing citizens to monitor the conditions of green infrastructure in New York City. In this development phase the Urban Design Lab is conducting a series of prototype tests in order to validate/enhance the present design, and showcase the full functionality of this product. Currently the application is comprised of two major components:

The first component consists of a physical installation in the form of signage or urban furniture located immediately within or adjacent to the city’s bioswale. This “stake” will allow people to connect to an application via QR code therefore acting as a bridge between virtual and real world. The second component is an “easy-to-use” online website, available for free to every interested party. This site will provide interested agencies, communities, as well as urban researchers with a shared platform for performance and evaluation of urban green infrastructure. As this application is designed to be compatible across multiple platforms people will be able to use this tool from their devices when they are out and about in public spaces.

BioSmiles© relies on communities as key stakeholders for monitoring ecosystem services, and consequently it emerges as an alternative to the current 311 reporting system, allowing for issues based dialogues and a streamlined method of information exchange between the general public and various responsible city agencies. The platform features have been assembled based upon three factors: a comparative analysis of already existing bioswales; a series of social, economic and environmental parameters which correlate with the presence of green infrastructure; and the definition of information units necessary for these pieces to be most effectively maintained.

Designers: Daniel Laimer, Filiberto Viteri