Welcome to the Smart Cities Challenge!
A month-long series of events leading up to a hackathon on Saturday, February 21st. 

Congratulations and thank you to everyone who helped make the Smart Cities Challenge a success! 75 participants formed teams--and in under 8 hours designed and developed some creative and high-impact solutions. Check out the winning projects below!

Grand Prize - Somerville: SmahtSomerville                       Grand Prize - Holyoke: Holyoke Stroll
Most Creative: Team David (Holyoke)                           Best Use of Tech: CityHack (Somerville)
Best Feasibility Analysis: Holyoke Now & Then           Biggest Impact + People's Choice: SomerSpeak

See our press coverage!

What will I do at the hackathon? 
You'll work with a team to rapidly design solutions for challenges presented by two local cities. At the end of the day, teams will present their solutions to a panel of city representatives and other experts ready to implement the best ideas. You could create an innovative hardware application, a new business model, or a policy intervention!

Do I need to be a technology expert?
No! While we welcome participants who can code, we need people with diverse backgrounds – especially public policy, business, urban planning, community organizing, design, or journalism.

What are the challenges?
City of Holyoke: Using Internet of Things (IoT), civic tech, and other smart cities concepts, how can the City of Holyoke improve the pedestrian experience for residents and visitors?
City of Somerville: How can the City of Somerville crowdsource useful data from community stakeholders to better understand and address complex policy challenges?

For the full challenge statements and background materials, see here.

What will happen to the winning projects?
Winners will receive prizes including mentoring to continue work on their ideas. Two winning teams also will go on to compete globally against contestants from the 20+ cities around the world participating in the Global Urban Datafest.

Register Now!

EVENTS CALENDAR (subject to change)

February 4 - Study Series - Introduction to Open Data

February 6 - Public Talk and Networking - Boston CIO Forum

  • 3pm - 4:30pm, Harvard Kennedy School - Taubman-275

  • Hosted by Regional, State, Local, Tribal Governance PIC and Tech4Change

February 11 - Study Series -  Government Digital Services

February 11 - Skills Series - Design Thinking Workshop

  • Time 7-9pm, Location: Starr Auditorium, Harvard Kennedy School

  • Hosted by Tech4Change at HKS

  • Learn the basics of Design Thinking through a hands-on, practical workshop that will take participants all the way from problem formation to prototype design. RSVP on Facebook here.

February 18 - Study Group - Privacy and Personal Data Portability

February 18 - Skills Series - Rapid Prototyping

  • Time 7-8pm, Location: Batten Hall, Room 201, Harvard Business School

  • Hosted by Tech Club at HBS

  • Come learn how to quickly prototype and test hypotheses without writing a single line of code. We'll be exploring some of the tools covered here.

February 20 - Kick-Off Event - Smart Cities Challenge Kickoff and Career Networking

  • 5:00 - 7:30pm, Grafton Street Pub and Grill, 1230 Massachusetts Avenue, MA 02138

February 21 - Smart Cities Challenge Day!!

See schedule details on right.

Registration Link: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/global-urban-datafest-smart-cities-challenge-boston-registration-15048728151

Tech4Change at Harvard Kennedy School
Regional, State, Local, and Tribal Governance PIC at Harvard Kennedy School
HBS Tech Club

The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard Kennedy School
The Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard Kennedy School
Booz Allen Hamilton

Use IBM Bluemix for your Hacks! Click here to Learn!



Batten Hall - 2nd Floor
125 Western Ave.
Allston MA, 02163

Kickoff and Career Networking
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Friday, February 20th, 2015

Smart Cities Challenge Hackathon 
8:30am - 7:00pm
Saturday, February 21st 2015

Breakfast & Registration: 8:30am - 9:00am
Welcome: 9:00am - 9:15am
Challenge Introduction: 9:15am - 9:30am
Team Formation: 9:30am - 10:00am
Brainstorming Session: 10:00am - 11:00am
Morning Work Session: 11:00 am- 2:00pm
Lunch: 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Afternoon Work Session: 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Presentations: 5:00pm - 6:00pm
Closing Speaker: 6:00pm - 6:30pm
Results and Wrap-up: 6:30 - 7:00pm

Alison Flint

Needham Hurst