Earlier this month, we announced the twenty creative teams who will take home the top prize of the What Design Can Do Clean Energy Challenge. Today, we turn our attention to the 3 winners who rose to the challenge for São Paulo: one of five cities addressed in the call for ideas.

In São Paulo, road traffic is currently the main source of carbon emissions, contributing to local pollution as well as global climate change. Every day, more than 5 million cars, 1 million trucks and 40 thousand buses circulate in the city; numbers which will only continue to soar as the population rises. Can the creative community help encourage clean and green mobility in São Paulo? In our search for solutions, 3 exceptional proposals stood out. Below are the winners, as selected by our International Jury.



BY Floresta urbana  | WINNER STartup TRACK

The Urban Farm grows vegetables using aquaponics, which reuses water from the tanks where tilapia fish are grown (and where fish waste is used to enrich plants). The whole process is carried out without the use of agrochemicals. The water supply for the tanks is collected from the rain. As a result, distances between producers and consumers are shortened, and local communities are mobilized to work together.

comments FROM THE JURY:

Even if it is not the most innovative solution, this is a project that São Paulo needs. The fact that they have access to the roofs of university buildings as a prototyping ground gives them a head start. This project is an expression of what the new generation sees as the next most logical way to bring fresh food closer to neighbourhoods that need it. And it answers the brief in the way that it prevents transport. In short: making common sense common practice.”

→ go to project page



Pedivela is an integration of cyclelogistics. Using a network of urban automated crossdocks Pedivela connects and optimizes the relation between passionate cargo bike riders and parcel delivery companies. Customers can bring their products to the crossdocks located at the “gates”​ of the city, where the cargo bikers will perform the next step of micro-logistics.


“Pedivela was founded to humanize cities by adding more bicycles to the streets. In one year we plan to have 10 crossdocks fully operational in São Paulo. We will also be working hard to open 200 automated units around Brazil, and maybe abroad as well.”

comments FROM THE JURY:

By now, biking has become pretty much an activist movement in São Paulo, which makes it the more interesting that Pedivela turns it into a business-to-business proposition. Taking biking from the barricades to business is an interesting shift. Also, it is perfectly clean and addresses a very big problem of both traffic congestion and air pollution. “

→ go to project page



The proposal is to develop both software and hardware for real-time passenger flow calculation on buses in São Paulo. Using innovative technologies, the system aims to generate increased passenger functionality and fleet optimization. In addition, the Milênio Bus is capable of generating information (big data) for public transport companies, allowing better planning of their routes.


The Milênio Bus project emerged as a way to integrate IoT (Internet of Things) technology into the urban mobility sector in cities. Initially, the project featured a hardware prototype and a mobile application with features that make everyday use of public transportation easier. We are extremely happy to know that we have been selected 🙂 Winning the WDCD Challenge is crucial for us, because this means we will be able to expand our solution to other countries.”

comments FROM THE JURY:

This project addresses three topics: the inefficient payment system in busses, the information the driver needs to have about the demand to better serve the passengers, and the possibilities this project offers for fleet optimization. So, it is really about driving efficiency into a system that desperately needs it, with the ultimate goal that when people see it as more efficient they are going to opt for the bus instead of being in their cars. One thing that needs attention is that the project needs to be very clear about the data, if any, they are harvesting from the passengers’ phones.”

→ go to project page


All twenty winners of the Challenge will now enter a dedicated accelerator to help develop their projects further. The 4-month program includes a production budget and expert mentorship, and is designed to give each finalist the tools they need to make their innovation ready for market and financing.

Visit our platform for more information about the timeline, and to view all the submissions in our project gallery. In the coming weeks, we’ll highlight more winners for each city right here on the blog, as well as on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.