Bologna Climathon: Extreme events- using the information system technologies to create informed communities of citizens

The Climate-KIC Climathon is a global 24-hour climate change event which will take place simultaneously in major cities around the world on 27 October 2016. 

In Bologna, the Climate-KIC Climathon will begin on the afternoon of the 27 October CET and finish on the following day. It is organised by Urban Center Bologna. 

🌎 Climathon 2017: Join us on 27 October 👍

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The Challenge 

Bologna is located in a vulnerable area and its major critical elements in relation to climate change have been highlighted by studies connected with the definition of the city’s climate profile: drought and water shortage, heat waves in the urban area, unconventional events and hydro-geological risk.

Hence, in the last years, the City of Bologna has been working to deal with the actual and future impacts of climate change through both mitigation and adaptation strategies. A package of integrated actions have been launched and adjusted in the light of the Sustainable Action Plan and the Local Adaptation Plan: energy efficiency projects, improvement of the sustainable mobility, drinking water saving and water treatment, collection and storage of rainwater, targeted use of plant species to improve the micro-climate and reduce air pollution, preemptive insurance against risks, among others.

In order to boost the efforts of the City against climate change, our Climathon will ask the participants to develop an innovative methodology to create informed communities of citizens being able to deal with extreme events, as these are projected to increase in frequency and strength, as reported in the last IPCC AR.

In creating a new methodology, the participants should take into account the efforts already implemented by the City and give a key role to technology instruments, as in the last years they played their part in climate change and, if directed in the correct way, they can change the course we’re on.

For example, in order prevent catastrophes, and to promptly respond to events, IT could play an active part as an instrument in the hands of informed citizens.

Hence, the challenge is NOT just to create a new mobile or web app, but to find a way to merge the existing policy instruments with technology to create new methodologies and instruments whose main objective will be to promote local communities of informed citizens. Many reports show that adults own a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet, and most of them use their devices to access news. Data also indicates that youth are increasingly turning to mobile devices for access to their news of interest. Sooner or later, mobile devices will definitely replace newspapers as a source of information.

So, why not take advantage of this trend and transform our technological devices in instruments to be used to prevent and deal with extreme events?

In this sense, the Climathon requests to:

-Keep the Bologna citizens connected with the local climate change profile of their city, (an added value would be the capacity to positively exploit their long-lasting knowledge of participatory processes)
-Merge the existing instruments and combine them with technology to create a new methodology that will be able to inform citizens on the Bologna vulnerability, the risk of extreme events, the way they could all work together to prevent and deal with climate change impacts and extreme events. If needed, this new methodology, should also be able to take its part as a first response instrument in case of catastrophes connected to climate change.

The approach requested is strongly trans-disciplinary, combining IT specialists, architects, urban planners, communicators, business actors, designers, among others. All the processes and the results must be connected to the open source movement.

Pitching to expert judges

The Climathon event will culminate in presentation of each group’s idea in front of panel members who will provide valuable feedback. The panel is comprised of different science and business experts.


The event is organised by Urban Center Bologna, in collaboration with the Bologna Municipality.

Urban Center Bologna is a leading organization born to boost the transformation of Bologna in a more livable, sustainable and resilient city. For the last eight years UCB has been committed in promoting and protecting Bologna’s environment, its economic vitality, its cultural vibrancy, and above all its environmental sustainability and social diversity. We work to protect the best of Bologna’s existing landscape, and we encourage the concrete transformation of our city in a resilient organism.
UCB is also a communication center where citizens can learn about the local policy initiatives, the projects implemented in the city, and the urban transformation of Bologna. The Center is also one of the city’s main venue for exhibitions, meetings, lessons, international workshops, seminars and laboratories.

The event is supported by Kyoto Club.

How to join the Climathon

How will you benefit from participating in 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!

Register your interest now to join the Climathon global movement and drive climate action

Click here to join!

🌎 Climathon 2017: Join us on 27 October 👍

→ Join the global movement, register today

→ Follow Climathon on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram