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Urban Planning Hackathon


A HACKATHON* (a what?)

A hackathon (also known as a hack day, hackfest or codefest) is a design sprint-like event.  Hacking is creative problem solving. Focused and intense diving in to a problem.

Mad City urban planning hackathon is an innovative and challenging format that combines aspects of urban planning, financing and latest technologies. It’s an urban planning competition that welcomes everyone’s participation because it is simultaneously a motivation-driven game, a collaboration creator and a learning process.

Deadline (is The King)

Compressed time process (4 hours) in which participants of teams create their visions for priority actions to be implemented in the territory.

Target (area)

In the framework of Mad City Happening, the target is to create new and unusual (mad) ideas for urban development worldwide, using as a basis the real development challenges and visions of the VEF technology block. It is important for the VEF territory as a collaboration creator, new idea generator and opportunity revealer. And as a publisher.

But, basically, it’s a game.


Anyone registered as a MadCity 2018 participant – a transport engineer, a landscape architect, a local inhabitant, a leader, a marketing expert, an architect, a professor, an IT professional, a developer, a representative of a bigger or a smaller municipality, a student, a socially responsible activist, a public relations professional, a financing expert, a journalist. Also, a surgeon, an astronaut, a director. And others.

Teams and categories

Participants will be introduced with the rules (categories) for team formation on May 31st, during registration. Parallel to lectures and discussions, the individual task of each participant will be to find his/her team members. Speed-dating as a process of getting to know each other and forming groups. Minimum number of team members – seven (7) participants of categories determined by the organizers (experts in their respective fields).

Teams will be registered on “first come, first served” basis. Team registration will end by 21:00 on May 31st (or at the moment when maximum number of team is reached, i.e. 20 teams).

Upon registration, teams will receive instructions in which they will find implicit directions regarding the tasks of next day. Each team will have an assigned support person from the team of organizers.

01/06/2018 – second day

Competition venue – VEF Culture Palace. Each team will be assigned a separate room to work in. Each team will be provided with graphic material of the hackathon’s territory, flip chart and stationery. Any technical equipment is allowed to be used.

Specific tasks

8:00Meet-up at Godvil. Warm-up exercise.

9:00Stairwell of VEF Culture Palace. Presentations about VEF territory by Pauls Timrots and Viesturs Celmiņš and short visions for the development of the territory by 7 Latvian planners and the like.

9:55Specific tasks are announced. These will concern VEF and its surrounding areas and will relate to urban environment improvements (connections, territories, objects), realistic solutions for attracting funding (municipality/state/entrepreneur/inhabitant) and IT solutions that help solve existing development issues, create new ideas for VEF as an experimental block.

10:00 – 14:00Within four hours teams create solutions for the given tasks of the competition. Simultaneously the newborn ideas and the process is being published on the team’s Instagram account.

14:00 – 14:30Lunch break

14:30 – 16:30 Evaluation

An open process in which each team has 6 minutes to present their ideas and answer jury’s questions. Teams present their ideas in the form of sales pitch in VEF Large hall for all the participants and for online viewers. Presentation is evaluated by the jury, meanwhile there is also an ongoing online voting.

16:45 Prize pot & distribution

Competition’s jury announces the winners and other reward-receiving teams. Hackathon’s total prize pot is 10,000 euros. Its distribution is decided by an international jury consisting of 7 people, participants and internet audience voting.

17:00 Group hug and BLOCK PARTY!

*organizers keep the right to alter the course of events in non-essential ways, without previously informing participants. Intellectual property rights to the solutions made during the hackathon belong to the organisers.

Any questions?


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