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Catapult announces city challenge hackathon

Multi-disciplinary teams will have 48 hours to hack a new piece of open source software

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Robertson: "collaboration by multi-skilled experts is so important for solving city problems"
Robertson: "collaboration by multi-skilled experts is so important for solving city problems"

Coming up with innovative solutions to real city challenges within 48 hours is set to be the focus of the Citidata Hack at the Urban Innovation Centre in London.

 

The two-day hackathon, hosted by Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax on behalf of Tombolo (a three-year innovation project funded by Innovate UK), will take place between 16-18 March 2018.

 

Future Cities Catapult specialises in advancing urban innovation and growing UK business together with Space Syntax which provides strategic consulting services in the planning and design of cities.

 

The amount of data being produced within cities is rapidly increasing. With this, decision makers need to understand how this data can be utilised to create solutions to the challenges our cities face.

 

City authorities from around the UK will present a major challenge that they currently face, and participants will explore this through the insight gained from connecting real data-sets.

 

Multi-disciplinary teams will then have 48 hours to hack a new piece of open source software – the digital connector – analyse data to uncover new insights and propose an innovative solution for how each city authority could redesign their services to tackle their local challenge.

 

“Cities are getting more intelligent. For 10 years the public sector has focused on digitising and designing better services for citizens. We’re now in a great position to explore how might we combine ‘data’ and ‘design’ in our cities,” said Jon Robertson, who leads data and digital projects at the Catapult.

 

“We believe that collaboration by multi-skilled experts is so important for solving city problems and that embedding data, analytics and AI into service provision will generate better outcomes for citizens in the future.”

 

Weekend hackathon guests will have the chance to win selected prizes and will also benefit from a series of talks from data scientists, digital designers, service designers and open source experts who are currently applying their skills in this space.

 

The hackathon will be followed by an optional month-long competition, where teams can develop their proposals further for the chance to win an additional prize. Deadline for proposals is 13 April 2018.

 

Tombolo aims to improve how city authorities use data. Bringing together a multi-disciplinary team from Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax, the project is:

  • developing a range of products and services to support city authorities in using data
  • establishing a community of practitioners to increase the supply of advanced data capabilities in the UK market and stimulate demand for data analytics in cities.

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