AI x City climate action

Join a fully hybrid hackathon to innovate and inspire solutions for city climate action! Receive mentorship, data and access to experts and help cities build resilience and adapt to climate change.

Pitch your solution virtually or in person at the 2024 Innovate4Cities Conference (I4C24) in Montréal, Canada and receive support to see your idea come to life.

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Can you develop a methodology or process flow to assess the risks and vulnerabilities of any Brazilian city to heat extremes, droughts, sea level rise, floods and other climate hazards?

By 2050, nearly 70% of the global population will call cities home where the biggest effects of the climate emergency will impact.

Together, we can help cities adapt and thrive in the face of climate change. Your skills can make a tangible difference. Let’s ensure that our urban future is safe, sustainable, and thriving.

How does the hackathon work?

  • Sign up by filling in this form
  • Read the Hackathon asks, review the supporting materials and attend to the optional launch webinar, expert roundtable discussions and Q&A sessions (you’ll be able to see them if you miss them)
  • Develop a methodology or process flow to tackle the challenge statement that can be demonstrated with the use of AI, geospatial data and tools, through dashboards or other data science applications or case studies and submit it before 23 August
  • If you are selected as semi finalist, pitch your solution at the I4C Conference in Montreal on 12 September
  • If you are a winner, get support from GCoM and partners to see your idea come to life!

What cities can do

Cities are living entities. A lot of actors converge in a city: businesses, civil society, different levels of government.

Local governments are in a unique position to promote actions with big impact, convene actors from all sectors and send a strong message to those that hold the power to change things that the time is now. It all starts with action.

It is important that local governments pursuing building resilience and reducing emissions have a science informed understanding of what the hazards and vulnerabilities affecting the cities goods and population are. Also, what the biggest emitting sectors are and how these will change in the future. Resources should be targeted at those most impactful actions.

We have great examples of cities leading the way in climate action. From mega cities to small inspiring local authorities. The climate action journey of each varies enormously. More than 13,000 cities around the world are part of the GCoM alliance and are taking action on climate change. When a local government official registers their city’s commitment to GCoM, they pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and track their progress transparently.

Getting started – How can we help?

The evidence base for a city to plan effective climate action is based on two studies: greenhouse gas emission inventories (GHGIs) and risk and vulnerabilities assessments (RVAs).

For cities in the Global South though, producing these studies is a capacity-intensive task.

Recent research by the Global Covenant of Mayors, C40 and CDP finds that cities need to ‘get started’ and jumpstart priority actions to mitigate emissions, build resilience and adapt to climate change.

The research sets the minimum data points and criteria for a city to meet the evidence and planning needs of the climate action journey and move to action.

With a science informed evidence base, cities are able to focus on the identification of priority actions that will have the biggest impact on their territory like energy consumption in buildings, clean energy, infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, zero emission buses, universal waste collection and treatment  with source segregation.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can play a key role for unlocking the evidence base needed for cities to act across the globe. AI and machine learning algorithms can automate the process of hazard identification and vulnerability assessment. They can be used to process and analyze climate data, identify vulnerability hotspots, and predict future climate-related risks.

The challenge 

Cities are living entities. A lot of actors converge in a city: businesses, civil society, different levels of government.

Local governments are in a unique position to promote actions with big impact, convene actors from all sectors and send a strong message to those that hold the power to change things that the time is now. It all starts with action.

It is important that local governments pursuing building resilience and reducing emissions have a science informed understanding of what the hazards and vulnerabilities affecting the cities goods and population are. Also, what the biggest emitting sectors are and how these will change in the future. Resources should be targeted at those most impactful actions.

We have great examples of cities leading the way in climate action. From mega cities to small inspiring local authorities. The climate action journey of each varies enormously. More than 13,000 cities around the world are part of the GCoM alliance and are taking action on climate change. When a local government official registers their city’s commitment to GCoM, they pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and track their progress transparently.

City climate action journey

The evidence base for a city to plan effective climate action is based on two studies: greenhouse gas emission inventories (GHGIs) and risk and vulnerabilities assessments (RVAs).

For cities in the Global South though, producing these studies is a capacity-intensive task.

Recent research by the Global Covenant of Mayors, C40 and CDP finds that cities need to ‘get started’ and jumpstart priority actions to mitigate emissions, build resilience and adapt to climate change.

The research sets the minimum data points and criteria for a city to meet the evidence and planning needs of the climate action journey and move to action.

With a science informed evidence base, cities are able to focus on the identification of priority actions that will have the biggest impact on their territory like energy consumption in buildings, clean energy, infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, zero emission buses, universal waste collection and treatment with source segregation.

Artificial intelligence (AI) can play a key role for unlocking the evidence base needed for cities to act across the globe. AI and machine learning algorithms can automate the process of hazard identification and vulnerability assessment. They can be used to process and analyze climate data, identify vulnerability hotspots, and predict future climate-related risks.

Most cities are already experiencing early impacts of climate change. The frequency and severity of heat extremes, droughts, storms, floods and other hazards are guaranteed to get worse, even if we limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Higher temperatures mean higher risk and the potential for catastrophic outcomes.

Adapting to climate change and climate hazards delivers vastly better social and economic outcomes than dealing with the costs of disasters.

Understanding the climate risks facing your city is a vital part of climate action planning. However, many cities lack the resources and time to conduct an in-depth assessment.

👉 We want you to help us deliver a high-level understanding of the risks and vulnerabilities of  Brazilian cities to climate hazards so that they can select and prioritize the most impactful actions to implement.

Submit your solution before the 23rd August!

CONDITIONS 

To help you get ready for the hackathon, we’re excited to offer a series of online preparatory activities! We’ll have a briefing session, a discussion with experts where you can get feedback on your ideas, and a Q&A session. You can submit your entries through the portal, which will be open from July 29th to August 23rd.

To stay up to date on the latest webinars and info sessions, register by filling in the form below.

  • The hackathon is open to students, professionals, or a combination of both.
  • Participants must register in advance and form teams of up to four members.
  • Participants must develop a methodology to tackle the challenge statement that must be demonstrated totally or partially by an AI application, by using geospatial tools or data, through dashboards or other data science applications or by providing case studies.
  • Up to ten submissions will be selected to pitch in person or virtually at the I4C Conference in Montreal on 12 September. No costs will be covered to participants.
  • The winners will be selected at the I4C Conference and will receive support to develop their solution.

Submissions should include the following components:

  • Presentation:
    • Create a comprehensive presentation that explains your solution in detail. This should cover the key features, benefits and challenges of your methodology.
  • Demonstration:
    • Use the methodology to analyze one or more cities for demonstration as case studies, apply the methodology or a fragment of it on an AI tool or any other technology you are familiar with.

These components will help the judges understand and evaluate your solution comprehensively, highlighting both its technical and practical merits.

Our jury of experts will be assessing submissions based on four key areas: innovation, impact, feasibility, and presentation.

1. Innovation

Originality and Creativity of the Solution

  • Participants should aim to develop unique and innovative solutions that showcase creative thinking.
  • Solutions should introduce new ideas or approaches that have not been widely implemented.
  • Consideration will be given to how the solution differentiates itself from existing tools or methods.

2. Impact

Potential to Positively Impact Cities’ Climate Action Efforts

  • Solutions should demonstrate a clear and significant potential to enhance climate action in cities.
  • The impact could be measured in terms of the hackathon asks tackled by the solution.
  • Solutions should address specific challenges faced by cities and provide tangible benefits to communities.

3. Feasibility

Practicality and Scalability of the Solution

  • Solutions must be practical and implementable within real-world urban settings.
  • Consideration will be given to the resources required for implementation, including technology, funding, and manpower.
  • Scalability is crucial; solutions should have the potential to be adapted and applied to multiple cities or regions.

4. Presentation

Clarity and Effectiveness of the Project Presentation

  • Participants must clearly articulate their solution, including its purpose, functionality, and benefits.
  • Presentations should be well-organized, engaging, and visually appealing.
  • The effectiveness of communication will be evaluated, including the ability to convey complex ideas in an understandable manner.

What do we need exactly?

We need you to develop a methodology or process flow that can retrieve one, a few or all of the data points, maps and narratives needed for a high-level assessment of risks and vulnerabilities for any Brazilian city. You can demonstrate it with an AI application, by using geospatial tools and data, through dashboards or other data science applications or by providing case studies.

Supporting Materials

Do you want to discover everything you need to know about the AI x City Climate Action Hackathon?

Rewatch our tailored sessions and hear from the organizing team and partners about the challenges cities are facing, how exactly you can contribute with your experience & perspective, as well as all the technicalities of the initiative.

Hackathon Partners

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