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Climate Innovators - Create real solutions to your city’s climate challenge, take action in your city!

How will you benefit from Climathon?

  • Help solve your city’s local climate challenge, and make your city more resilient to climate change
  • Network with local leaders from academia, business and public authorities
  • Develop your skills in public speaking, innovative thinking, prioritisation, and explore new tools and methodologies
  • Join forces with other like-minded entrepreneurs and innovators
  • Become a part of a global community working together to take climate action!

Application Deadline: 25th October, 2017


Understanding better different forms of pollution (air, water, light) and how they affect climate, citizens and other species

This is the first time that we organise this challenge for the city (and region) of Madrid.

For this initial edition, we have decided to focus our challenge on increasing the understanding that we have about the interrelationships among different forms of pollution (air, water, light) and climate, and how they affect citizens, as well as other animals and, in general, biodiversity.

What can be done?

If you decide to come and work with us in this 24-hour event, you can bring in your own problem and datasets (open or private), or make use of those ones that we will be making available (please stay tuned to our challenge description pages, where we will be uploading links to relevant data sources).

Here you are some of the activities that we would like to explore with you:

  • Relating light pollution and its impact on humans and biodiversity.
  • Can we understand better the relationships between air pollution and weather? 
  • How can we improve available data about sources of pollution in the places where we live, as well as making them available to others who may want to reuse them?

But we are of course happy to get your proposals as well.

A special focus on light pollution

We are specially interested in creating awareness on the effects of a not-so-well-known type of pollution: light pollution (which can be defined as "excessive, poorly directed or unnecessary artificial light at night"). Why? Because some of us are involved in an EU project whose focus is to create awareness about light pollution (www.stars4all.eu) and its negative consequences. For instance, we already know that light pollution:

  • Wastes energy and money. 
  • Affects the natural day-night/light-dark cycle under which all species and ecosystems on Earth have evolved.
  • Endangers night time habitats and disrupts natural rhythms (e.g. circadian and saisonal) of both diurnal and nocturnal species.
  • Destroys the natural darkness of nocturnal landscapes and obscures the view of the star-filled sky.
  • Disorients insects and other animals, thereby reducing ecosystem services.
  • Affects human well-being and health through its association with insomnia, obesity, metabolic disorder and hormonal cancers.
  • Potentially decreases safety due to glare.
  • Causes annoyance and reduces privacy by obtrusive light.

In this context, we propose you the following activities (and are happy to get more proposals from you):

  • Let's try to find a relationship between the information that we have in OpenStreetMap about public lighting and the information that we can find in other available data sources (e.g., the ones from the Open Data portal of Madrid - http://datos.madrid.es).
  • We will also show you how we can capture data about light in a place like our campus, so as to generate maps of the brightness of our skies or contribute to the experiments run by other researchers. Yes, we will go out at night to capture that data.
  • If you are interested in creating nice visualisations, we can also work on how to visualise data from our network of photometers (http://www.stars4all.eu/index.php/tess/). 
  • Try to find correlations between the geographical distribution of some species that are especially sensitive to light and light pollution, using data from http://www.biodiversidadvirtual.org/ .
  • Create games related to light pollution, so as to create general awareness about it (for kids, for our neighbours, for teachers, for policy makers).
  • Create consensuated data models and vocabularies to describe information about public lighting, using the lampposts from our campus as an example.

The Event

What     Climathon Madrid 2017: Understanding different forms of pollution and how they relate to climate 

When    Friday 27 October 2017 8pm to Saturday 28 October 8pm - open all day and night

Who      Students, start-ups, entrepreneurs, light pollution enthusiasts, astronomy amateurs

Where   ETSI Informáticos, Bloque I, Sala de Estudios (there will be signs everywhere to help you get there). Information on how to arrive to the campus are available here: http://www.fi.upm.es/?id=comollegar

Some logistics

A few easy-to-consider logistics for the event:

  • Bring your computers if you are planning to do some coding, or helping others fix some data sources, promote your work in social media, or even share some music with others.
  • Bring a sleeping bag with you. We will have spaces to have a rest overnight, if you wish (we understand that staying awake for 24 hours may be too much, so we will have those spaces and you can have a bit of rest there).
  • If you are interested in photography, we will have some activities where you can bring your own camera and we will get some night pictures.
  • And basically, if you think that you may bring something with you that may be of interest to the topic of the hackaton, let us know, and we will tell you whether it makes sense or not (normally, it will make sense ;-))


The agenda will be evolving as we come closer to the event, especially since we are convincing more and more people to participate with talks and all sorts of activities, so as to keep you busy over all this time.


20:00-20:30 Official welcome and get-all-together

20:30-21:00 TALK: What is light pollution and why we are interested on it? Oscar Corcho

21:00-21:15 Light Pollution for Amateur Astronomers in Ávila. Pedro Vivas White. Centro Nacional de Información Geográfica and "Grupo de Observadores Astronómicos de Ávila" (GOAA)

21:15-21:45 Presentation of problems to deal with during the Climathon in Madrid, led by Esteban González

21:45-22:30 Dinner

22:30-23:00 Group forming activities

23:00-... The hackaton starts

  Some activities in parallel (with some goodies given to the winners of each of them), for those who dare to stay awake till late

  Midnight-1:00: Activity 1: can you identify cities at night?

  1:00-2:00 Activity 2: let's do some night photographs in the campus, so as to demonstrate how light pollution affects us

  2:00-3:00 Activity 3: let's take some measurements (with sensors, apps, etc.)

09:00-09:30 Breakfast, freshly brewed coffee and cookies, to get started

09:30-10:00 Activity 4 (to get really awake): Cazasteroides. Miquel Serra-Ricart, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (demo and contest)

10:00-10:30 Brief presentation of current state of projects (all)

10:30-11:00 Light pollution and biodiversity. Antonio Tenorio. Instituto de Salud Carlos III, and Asociación Cultural El Ponderal

11:00-13:00 Hackaton continues

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-18:00 Hackaton continues

18:00-18:30 Coffee and final break

18:30-19:00 Presentation of results by all groups 

19:00-20:00 Final session and awards




Photo Albums (2)
Sponsors & Partners



30 Winning Solutions That Could Change the World
  06 December 2016

On the 28th October 2016, 59 cities from around the world took part in Climathon, a global 24-hour hackathon-style event that aims to solve cities climate change challenges. Read More



ETSI Informáticos, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid
Campus de Montegancedo, sn
28660 Boadilla del Monte, Madrid

Details on the specific location inside ETSI Informáticos will be provided closer to the event.

How to come: http://www.fi.upm.es/?id=comollegar (in Spanish and English)

Contact Us

Contact Us

If you have any queries about the Climathon please contact:

Local Contact
Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Ontology Engineering Group - http://www.oeg-upm.net -)
Global Contact
Climathon Manager
Orsolya Barna
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