City Data Hack at Urban Innovation Centre, London

The hack focused on using data to solve urban challenges like social isolation, unemployment and transport difficulties. There were eleven teams with 60 hackers from a range of backgrounds include data, UX, software engineering and service design. Many had a special interest in urban planning and there were quite a few students present.

Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax were the hosts of this hackathon by Tombolo, held at the Urban Innovation Centre in London from 16–18 March 2018.

Tombolo is a Future Cities Catapult and Space Syntax R&D project funded by Innovate UK. They have created the Digital Connector which was used by teams during the hack. They explored how city authorities could improve their use of data in solving urban challenges.

Three challenges were provided by the challenge partners:

Multi-disciplinary teams had 48 hours to hack the data, try out some new tools, including the Digital Connector and a data visualisation platform, analyse data to uncover new and relevant insights, then propose how each city authority could redesign their services to tackle their local challenge.

The hackathon included mentorship from experienced data scientists, digital designers, service designers and open source experts who work in the urban planning space.

Here are the teams who participated in the City Data Hack:

Projects / Teams Intros

Below are the competing teams project intros.

Familiar Ground
Alternative Treatment
Keep Going
Find my future
City Dimensions
Bee Hive

Hackathon Presentations

All presentations

Final Results

The team O-One won the hack with their TfL portal to solve the city planning challenge and monitor project progress. They won both the travel challenge category and the hackathon overall, and were recognised for the multiple ways their solution can be developed in the future. Find My Future won the employment and skills challenge. Visualising Exclusion won the social isolation category.

Team Keep Going won the best photo of the weekend, and for collaborating the best out of all the teams.

The hackathon is now followed by an optional month-long competition for teams to develop on their proposals.



Playlist for the videos on Youtube and the unofficial GitHub organisation for the game projects.

Written by...

Catherine Heath

​She has a thing for psychology, diversity, tech and startups​, and is l​earning to code. She gives valuable insight into the women in tech scene on her website, Away With Words, and shares tips for success and self-development. Connect with Catherine on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Written by...

Eddie Jaoude

​Eddie has been programming for over a decade and has consulted for organisations in the financial, governmental and private sectors. Outside of his consultancy role Eddie enjoys attending and contributing to hackathons and conferences around the world which deal with a variety of technical and social issues. His first foray into the realm of Women's issues was EmpowerHack's "Empowering women and girl refugees" hackathon. Since then Eddie has contributed to EmpowerHack's Open Source projects from a technical perspective and has also brought his expertise and infectious enthusiasm to actively support the growth of women in tech at WHFNP and AcornAspirations. He has been likened to Sheldon Cooper from "The Big Bang Theory" with marginally more social skills. Jaoude Studios Ltd Connect with Eddie Jaoude on Twitter or LinkedIn.