15 January 2018
Climathon in Switzerland – Sustainable solutions for the City of Zurich
In Switzerland, Zurich’s teams spent 24 hours looking to climate-proof their city. Impact Hub Zurich hosted 70 participants forming 14 teams to work on climate challenges the city faces.
The atmosphere was great and very dynamic. The event at Impact Hub Zurich attracted motivated techies, entrepreneurs and creatives formed 14 teams and collaborated to create sustainable solutions for an even greener Zurich.
Six innovative solutions for a greener Zurich
Every team came up with a creative solution. Six teams caught the special attention of the jury with their outstanding ideas and were thus invited to present their ideas in front of the City of Zurich:
We like turtles
The team developed an app that allows the uploading of pictures of food that is not being consumed anymore to a virtual shelve. Take a picture of an item you don’t plan to eat before the expiry date. Instead of throwing it away it can be posted on Foodshelf, making it available for other people.
Street lamps wrapped in moss can help bear the summer heat and clean the air at the same time. The installation of flexible moss fabrics will decrease the average temperature within urban heat islands through so called evaporative cooling.
The team created a collaboration platform that connects interested citizens with projects and companies. The application makes it easy for people to find and participate in or co-organize climate-related projects in their area.
Investing in new heating systems demands upfront investments that are not always available for the owners of private homes. By offering an interesting investment opportunity to a group of small scale investors, the team aims to collect the money needed to finance heating systems in private homes.
Track to Adapt
Would you like to travel sustainably within Zurich but don’t know the best way to do it? Track to Adapt has developed an app that shows travel options with different means of transportation. It provides information about the distance and time of travel, CO2 emissions, calorie consumption, and price difference. Points will be rewarded if the journey has reduced CO2 emissions.
Winning Solution: Applying artificial intelligence for climate friendly behaviour
The first prize went to team Y7K.
They developed an app that is controlled by artificial intelligence. It offers tips and recipes that help turn foodwaste into soups and other dishes. Imagine a guy named Max. He is a personal foodie bot that does the hard work for you. Feed it with data; take a picture of your receipt or meal, and will receive facts or suggestions on how to eat more climate friendly. Through conversations and reminders, Max makes it easier to change behaviour. Up to 100’000 kg CO2 emissions can be saved. The app memorizes what food you prefer, if you are on a diet or have allergies.
City Council Member Claudia Nielsen attended the Climathon award ceremony and held a speech to an enthusiastic audience. As a representative for the City of Zurich she was very excited about the ideas the teams came up with and is looking forward to potential collaborations for a greener Zurich.
Collaboration and coordination
Though largely unknown to each other, the participants quickly formed groups based on their interests in some of the initial ideas presented in a plenary session. In the evening, participants were offered workshops to enhance their skills in coding and app development, hardware design, and prototyping.
Tech savvy hackers were introduced to business models. Midnight yoga sessions were offered to help the Climathon teams relax after intense hours of work. All in all, the Zurich Climathon certainly succeeded in engaging citizens to find solutions to Zurich’s challenges related to climate change.