30 New, Innovative Solutions to Help Cities Fight Climate Change Around the World
Originally conceptualised as a 24-hour hackathon by EIT Climate-KIC, Climathon has since taken off as a global movement, engaging citizens on climate action—and providing cities with continued support on the unique challenges they face.
This year's edition of the Climathon, an innovative global hackathon dedicated to solving the toughest climate challenges cities face, organised by EIT Climate-KIC, took place on 26 October 2018. It was supported by a Main Stage event held in Turin, Italy, that helped connect all Climathon events running simultaneously.
No less than 196 climate challenges were submitted by 113 participating cities in 46 countries from all six continents. These challenges are focused on helping cities tackle climate change more efficiently and cover topics such as mobility, waste management or energy-related issues.
Here are 30 among the best winning solutions that were created across the world over the course of the event!
- Ancona, Italy
To improve air quality in the city, one of two winning teams suggested to improve public transportation to make it more attractive to students, while the other proposed the installation of an electrostatic precipitator filter on the roof of Ancona's trolleybuses to allow for the removal of particulate matter.
- Birmingham, UK
Birmingham winners came up with a set of concrete actions that would raise awareness around climate-related issues across generations and cultures. This campaign would introduce practical actions that can be taken by members of all communities on a local level.
- Copenhagen, Denmark
In Copenhagen, ClimEx designed a green space that would include a dry river that acts both as a space for communities to spend time at and as a visualisation of the water management system of the city. The space would include educational elements and become a landmark of its area.
- Grimstad, Norway
To improve waste management, the winning team in Grimstad suggested improving the composting process by designing a solution based on a multistage thermolysis process that controls gas release and uses these gasses to produce advanced carbon composites materials, energy or/and fuels.
- Helsinki, Finland
To create a more sustainable urban food system in the Tukkutori area, Helsinki Climathon winners imagined a winter garden-cum-greenhouse that would offer plant and vegetable farming and use locally-produced solar and bio-waste energy. The greenhouse would reuse the Styrofoam boxes of the Tukkutori fish market and restaurants as plant boxes and would compost bio-waste from nearby restaurants.
- Heraklion, Greece
To make the local university more eco-friendly, the winning project, named "Green Campus", created an action plan with a series of measures such as providing recycling bins on campus, reducing plastic use at the cafeteria, compositing food waste etc. This would be a first in the area!
- Krakow, Poland
Krakow winners suggested the creation of a rain garden; a specific hydrotechnical construction that would, in this case, include a sustainable drainage system for the city.
- London, UK
The winning team Cyclean developed a unique method for treating polystyrene food packaging, a form of plastic packaging that is not currently recycled in the UK. Their business idea would provide, wash and return reusable food containers to the city's numerous food markets.
- Madrid, Spain
To tackle light pollution, Madrid's winning teams came up with a technical guide on reducing luminosity in the city and created pieces of source code that could be used by smart street lights to optimise their energy consumption.
- Maribor, Slovenia
In Maribor, winning team Black & Green suggested to design and build green playgrounds for young children on the rooftops of central buildings by using local biochar. This idea would provide families with additional social spaces all while optimising the use of valuable city-centre real estate.
- Nova Gorica, Slovenia
Nova Gorica's winners were inspired by seed libraries and the grassroot movement aiming to rebuild local food systems. Therefore, they decided to suggest the creation of a local seed library in their own city.
- Rome, Italy
Rome's edition of the Climathon aimed to find new ways to limit the impact of extreme weather on the city, and the winners created a new roundabout concept that includes underground water tanks connected to the urban drainage system. All collected water can be used by the city for gardening or cleaning purposes.
- Rovereto, Italy
Planting trees as a reward for using public transport: this is the idea behind MOBILITree, Rovereto's winning project and an ambitious campaign that aims to raise awareness around the harmful effects of individual transport among the public.
- Sofia, Bulgaria
Aiming to increase air quality in Sofia, SofiaPlayOn is an app that aims to reduce car traffic within the city by using gamification and knowledge exchange to popularise alternative transportation methods.
- Valletta, Malta
Malta's winning idea is Segway-to-Go, a vehicle-sharing service that relies on electric, two-wheel personal transporters Segways instead of bikes or cars, both being inconvenient in Valletta's small and steep streets, especially in the summer.
- Varazdin, Croatia
Wastebook is a gamification-based project that aims to make waste sorting more appealing to the city's inhabitants, thereby allowing for better waste management on a local level. It would offer prizes to participants and provide related data to the relevant local institutions.
- Vienna, Austria
One of the winning teams, H(EIS)S, designed an app that provides the city of Vienna with a database that collects the heat sensations of its inhabitants. The app aims to help the city to apply local solutions in a more precise and targeted way, and users are rewarded for using the app by collecting points that can be traded for free ice cream.
- Vilnius, Lithuania
To stimulate the installation of renewable energy sources in Lithuania, Climathon winners in Vilnius created VGEM, a P2P energy trading platform that allows energy prosumers to sell extra generated power.
- Warsaw, Poland
To improve energy efficiency in Warsaw, Energy Fighters designed an app that would monitor the energetic performance of houses and buildings to help citizens get a better understanding of their energy consumption and encourage investment in renewable energy.
- Wuppertal, Germany
No less than three winning teams were selected in Wuppertal:
- "Low-Fish-Stick", an innovative idea for a fish-on-demand concept to deliver fish produced in the city to consumers in an eco-friendly way.
- "Survival of the Fishest", a project to increase the acceptance of urban farming by involving local communities in the process.
- "Refunghi", a product that avoids fresh produce being packed in plastic by replacing this material with a new, sustainable, mushroom-based packaging.
- Yerevan, Armenia
"Future in our Hands" is a mobile application that encourages waste recycling by allowing recycling facilities to request specific types of waste to suit their current needs. Citizens can use the platform to list the recycling materials they can provide.
- Zurich, Switzerland
To help against extreme weather events, one of Zurich's Climathon's winning teams, called TREELLIONAIRE, created an app that simulates the influence of trees on the local climate. Playfully, the user can virtually plant trees in Zurich. The program shows the temperature reduction in the immediate vicinity and can also help identify strategically favourable places for new trees in Zurich.
- Mexico City
In Mexico City, Climathon participants were tasked with tackling water management in their city. The winning idea with the most climate and social impact was a project that aims to include women as a stronger working force for the installation of water-management systems.
- Dhaka, Bangladesh
In Dhaka, Climathon winners designed a solution that allows the geospatial integration of renewable energy systems for their city. Their idea: a Solar Master Map that identifies the buildings with the highest solar potential to avoid the installation of solar panels conflicting with the promotion of rooftop gardening and other uses.
- New Delhi, India
New Delhi was looking for tech-based ways to map pollution, and the winning team created an intelligent traffic and vehicle-emission monitoring system that uses remote sensing technology to automate the traffic signal mechanism to deploy traffic in a more eco-friendly manner.
- Cairo, Egypt
Cairo came up with two interesting ideas for food waste management, namely Cornella; eco-friendly plates made of corn waste, and OrangeEco, a way to use orange waste to produce other products such as tea, oil or shampoo.
- Jalingo, Nigeria
The winning idea of Jalingo's Climathon is a project that manages to reuse plastic waste by collecting and processing it before turning it into high-end decorative and gift items marketed towards luxury homes.
- Khartoum, Sudan
Khartoum was looking to find ways for the city to be more resilient to extreme weather events (especially desertification and dust storms). The winning project suggested to embed seeds into balls made of soil and have them distributed along the green belt to support the re-forestation process of this area that has been suffering the consequences of urban planning.
- Lagos, Nigeria
Lagos was looking for new ideas to tackle waste management. The winning project aims to use urban planning to support the city's growth and the team introduced three suggestions in key areas:
- The decentralisation of waste management activities among different tiers of the government.
- The creation of a waste management plan for the city based on collected data and future construction projects.
- The introduction of land use links between waste and reuse points and granting private firms access to specific waste.
- Praia, Cape Verde
In Praia, the winning team of the Climathon designed an app that could improve air monitoring by using smartphones and a plant that would be given to users and would help collect climate and atmosphere-related data.