By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Temple University has been awarded $700,000 in federal grants to create what the University calls an ‘urban apps and maps studio.’

Smartphone app-making is a big business, but Temple professor Youngjin Yoo said dollar signs are not the motivation here.

“We decided that we would have a sharp focus on urban contexts, urban economies, and urban challenges.”

Take public health, for instance. Yoo said they are thinking of a game-style app that would give teens “points” when they help their parents and grandparents change their lifestyles.

“Exercise more, eat healthy, check their blood pressure more frequently, and so on.”

A wide swath of Temple students can get in on it starting in the spring semester.

“Business school, computer science, electrical engineering, urban studies, geography, as well as our Tyler School of Art.”

However, it will also be offered to local startups and high schools in the Philadelphia area. If more grants come through, Yoo said they will push for an off-campus 24/7 studio to nurture urban digital entrepreneurs.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060

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