Improving the quality of life in cities by using available data was the main challenge of HackPrague 2019. The annual hackathon took place in Prague in May and gathered passionate developers and designers from across Europe to build their ideas. IDC was also there and gave insights into smart cities and open data initiatives.
Breaking up silos and providing access to data can catalyze innovation. In the past few years the public and private sectors have been publishing more and more data under licenses to enable it to be reused. Public and private organizations, scientists, citizens, and others are starting to create new knowledge, products, and services from the combination and analysis of data sources.
This year HackPrague partnered with more than 35 organizations and brought together 104 tech enthusiasts and professionals from Europe who prototyped 27 applications in 24 hours in response to urban challenges on top of data that has been made available by government organizations and companies. The hacking teams were supported by partners and mentors from the Czech Smart City Cluster, the Ministry of Regional Development, the Ministry of Interior, Prague Institute of Planning and Development, the City of Brno, ABB, Epam, Veeam, Socialbakers, start-ups such as flatzone, keboola, apify, and smartplan, and others.
Smart Traffic and Citizen Engagement Solutions Among the Winners
The winners of HackPrague 2019 developed “Smart Traffic,” a prototype that analyzes traffic congestion and violations using Big Data video streams. The team collected, evaluated, and processed data to automatically detect and track moving objects such as vehicles and people. The tool can help to identify emerging situations on roads, such as car accidents, and better manage car traffic and public transportation.
The citizen engagement platform “It’s also up to us” aims to close the communication gap between citizens and the municipality to solve citizen problems more easily. The team followed a citizen-centered design approach where citizens can communicate complaints and ideas to the municipality, with cities getting insights into the needs and opinions of citizens. The platform is made for Czech cities to improve local development in accordance with people’s needs.
Congratulations to the winners and all the teams that took part.
From Prototype to Product
The next step for most hacking teams is to fine tune the prototypes, to include additional datasets where meaningful and possible, and to connect with businesses and municipalities to ensure that the solutions evolve into a product. “Coding the website isn’t a challenge,” said Marko Řeháček from the “It’s also up to us” team. “The challenge is understanding what the public needs. We have a few more scenarios to think through and we’re planning to present the idea to our home town.” HackPrague demonstrated well how open data can be connected to the people who can make use of it, and how to crowdsource fresh and new concepts.
Cities are Transforming
Cities are facing societal and urban challenges related to strategic priorities such as economic development, energy efficiency, mobility, urban planning, and public safety, and are looking to find solutions. Smart cities focus on sustainability, engagement, and resource saving to fundamentally change and improve the quality of life for citizens and boost economic growth. The implementation of solutions is connected to significant changes and transformation in work processes, work cultures, people, technology, and data within organizations and departments. The use of emerging technologies such as cloud, Big Data and analytics, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and augmented/virtual reality plays a key role in our future cities.
IDC Government Insights Europe is looking at how cities are transforming to meet their strategic priorities. Please contact Julia Neuschmid (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to learn more about this.