The start-up REWIND was designated winner of the ‘Urban walks challenge’ by the panel of judges today at the Welcome City Lab. REWIND offers hundreds of podcasts with geolocation in the streets of Paris. Stories are recounted by actors according to the geolocation. The application also offers fun facts, with more than 500 stories lasting less than 2 minutes. After more than a month of applications, 8 start-up finalists (EnigmaGo, Foxie, Mile, Movie in Paris, Point in the City, Rewind, Vidi Guides and Vizity) were selected by a panel of professionals to present their projects.
For Laurent Queige, director of Welcome City Lab, ‘The success of this urban tourism challenge illustrates the creativity and talents of entrepreneurs in transforming raw data into elaborate discovery services for visitors to Paris.’.
Paris off the beaten track
The Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau has been working for more than a year on a proposal for urban walks in outlying districts of the capital. The objective: encourage urban tourism and help people discover districts that were previously little visited. For Corinne Menegaux, Managing Director of the PCVB, ‘This project meets the needs of visitors who wish to explore the authentic side of Paris and so experience the city as its inhabitants do. We are in a new dynamic phase that entails telling tourists, whether foreign or French, to step off the beaten track, that Paris can be explored in any number of ways.”.
Many walks have been designed in the 12th, 13th and 14th arrondissements, on a variety of themes: Lively and friendly, the 14th arrondissement invites visitors to enjoy Paris via five walks with themes like architecture or Montparnasse artists. Walks in the 13th arrondissement are based on street art and innovation and those in the 12th arrondissement, on green Paris. It is within this framework that the PCVB, in collaboration with Welcome City Lab, has thrown down a challenge to start-ups designing urban walks, in order to put these activities in the spotlight via innovative solutions accessible to visitors to the capital.
Places of interest on open data
Some 200 or so points of interest (POI) have been identified in the three arrondissements mentioned with the aim of designing some 10 or so walks. As part of an open innovation approach, the City of Paris has also wanted to make these points of interest and related content (texts and photos) freely available on its open data platform ‘paris.data’. This data was therefore available for the challenge candidates to make use of.
For Jean-François Martins, Deputy Mayor of Paris for Sport, Tourism, and the Olympic and Paralympic Games, making this data available as open data was of vital importance: ‘We have started work to enhance the tourist value of the capital's outlying districts. In doing so, we wish to better disseminate the flow of tourists and and the economic benefits of tourism in the city and beyond. And we know that our visitors are eager to discover the city in a different light, to explore its cosmopolitan soul and strikingly different districts. Making available 200 points of interest in the 12th, 13th and 14th arrondissements on open data is a way of highlighting the richness of the tourist offer in these districts. We are counting on start-ups and tourism professionals to make use of this open data to design their own walks/trails to reveal all the appeal and charm of these 3 arrondissements’.
More information on walks :