Quick access jump navigation

Could You Develop an Innovative Solution to a Real City Challenge in 48 hours?

Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax are hosting Tombolo’s first hackathon: Citidata Hack at the Urban Innovation Centre in London from 16th – 18th March 2018.

Future Cities Catapult specialises in advancing urban innovation and growing UK business together with Space Syntax who provide strategic consulting services in the planning and design of cities.

Data specialists, software developers, user experience (UX) designers and service designers are invited to explore how they can use their skills during a fast-paced weekend at the Urban Innovation Centre to explore how city authorities could improve how they use data to address urban challenges.

The amount of data being produced within our cities is rapidly increasing. With this, our decision makers need to understand how this data can be utilised to create solutions to the challenges our cities face. City authorities from around the UK will present a major challenge that they currently face, and participants will explore this through the insight gained from connecting real data-sets.

Multi-disciplinary teams will then have 48 hours to hack a new piece of open source software – the Digital Connector – analyse data to uncover new insights and propose an innovative solution for how each city authority could redesign their services to tackle their local challenge.

Weekend Hackathon guests will not only have the chance to win carefully selected prizes, but will also benefit from a series of engaging talks from data scientists, digital designers, service designers and open source experts who are currently applying their skills in this space.

Jon Robertson, who leads data and digital projects at the Catapult, said:

“Cities are getting more intelligent. For ten years the public sector has focused on digitising and designing better services for citizens. We’re now in a great position to explore how might we combine ‘Data’ and ‘Design’ in our cities. We believe that collaboration by multi-skilled experts is so important for solving city problems and that embedding data, analytics and AI into service provision will generate better outcomes for citizens in the future.”

The Hackathon will be followed by an optional month-long competition, where teams can develop their proposals further for the chance to win an additional prize. Deadline for proposals: 13th April 2018.

Visit our Eventbrite page to register your interest. This does guarantee your place, but you will receive confirmation on March 2nd.

About the project

Tombolo is a 3-year innovation project, funded by Innovate UK, which aims to improve how city authorities use data. Bringing together a multi-disciplinary team from Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax, the project is:

  • Developing a range of products and services to support city authorities in using data.
  • Establishing a community of practitioners to increase the supply of advanced data capabilities in the UK market and stimulate demand for data analytics in cities.

Check out the Digital Connector in GitHub!

Learn more about the Tombolo project and the Digital Connector at www.tombolo.org.uk.


The accelerator competition will run from 18th March 2017 –  13th April 2018.

Winners of the accelerator will be announced in April 2018.

There will be further press releases to give more details.

About Tombolo: Learn more about Tombolo at www.Tombolo.org.uk

Supporting imagery at: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1VhUcaieCEDONbJvFENOvBYgCMZyaX0tm?usp=sharing

For media enquiries contact Charlotte Hutton at Info@tombolo.org.uk.

Twitter: @tombolo_

About Future Cities Catapult                                

Future Cities Catapult exists to advance innovation, to grow UK companies, to make cities better. We bring together businesses, universities and city leaders so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that cities face, now and in the future. This means that we catalyse and apply innovations to grow UK business and promote UK exports.

From our Urban Innovation Centre in London, we provide world-class facilities and expertise to support the development of new products and services, as well as opportunities to collaborate with others, test ideas and develop business models.

We help innovators turn ingenious ideas into working prototypes that can be tested in real urban settings. Then, once they’re proven, we help spread them to cities across the world to improve quality of life, strengthen economies and protect the environment.

Follow us on Twitter @futurecitiescat or sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our news.

About Catapult centres

The Catapult centres are a network of world-leading centres designed to transform the UK’s capability for innovation in specific areas and help drive future economic growth. The Catapults network has been established by Innovate UK. For more information visit catapult.org.uk

About Space Syntax

Space Syntax provides strategic consulting services in the planning and design of cities, urban places and buildings. Our mission is to introduce human-focused, outcome-oriented perspectives into planning and design processes and to contribute to creating places that foster economic growth, health and wellbeing, equality and sustainability.

Sign up for the latest news and updates