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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 (see some pictures from last years event).

Deadline (is The King)

Compressed time process (24 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 (call them mad) ideas for urban development worldwide, using as a basis the real development challenges and visions of the Riga left bank – the area, soon to be known as Riga Knowledge Mile. This is important for the RKM 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 2019 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. And YOU.

Teams and categories

Participants will be introduced with the rules (categories) for team formation on May 30th, 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 20:00 on May 30th (or at the moment when maximum number of team is reached, i.e. 15 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.

31/05/2019 – second day

Competition venue – “The Tower’s of The Left Bank”. Each team will be assigned a separate ‘tower” to work from (list of towers to be announced). 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.
There will be video link and flat screens available for communication with other teams and wider audience over social media (thank you, Microsoft).

Specific tasks

Meet-up at Latvian National Library (LNB).

Morning coffee and smart snacking.

Shopping cart warm-up exercise.

Each time starts the race to their location in towers, navigating through the terrain. !!! time limits applied. you must reach your final destination by foot in 30minutes from LNB (or use some magic).

Specific tasks are announced.

These will concern “tower interests” and will relate to
better connections for pedestrians, cyclists and micro-mobility solutions between the “towers” of the “knowledge mile”;
regular ferry connection across Daugava – where should the stops be and how to connect them to the particular “tower”;
development of the concept "20 minutes from any office, apartment or auditorium to the airport" (10-minute train ride from the Rail Baltica station in Torņakalns + 10 minutes of micro-mobility) to the particular ‘tower”;

They 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 “knowledge mile” as a world class innovation district – the knowledge creator.

9:30 – 15:30

Within 6 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. And questions asked over social media #madcityhackathon
(healthy lunch to be provided by Wolt! best food delivery service in town)

16:00 – 18:00

An open process in which each team has 5 minutes to present their ideas and answer jury’s questions. Teams present their ideas in the form of Instagram accounts for all the participants and for online viewers (watch LMT Straume!!) . Presentation is evaluated by the jury, meanwhile there is also an ongoing online voting.

Prize pot & distribution.

Competition’s jury announces the winners and other reward-receiving teams. Hackathon’s total prize pot is valued @ euros, as of March 25, 2019. Its distribution is decided by an international jury, stakeholders and participants and internet audience voting.

Group hug and BLOCK PARTY

Our traditional Group hug (here the last years hug’s) and BLOCK PARTY
This years party will be exceptional in 3 ways –
a) the biggest urban planning party in Baltics (the number of planning-related people will reach more than 75% of participants)
b) the first ever party of “knowledge mile” – involving students& teachers from across 5 universities;
c) to be kept in secret until April 5th

* 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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