Birmingham is one of several cities from around the world taking part in the Climate-KIC Climathon 2015 – a 24 hour hackathon on June 18 to kickstart engagement with the most pressing environmental issues in major cities.
Birmingham City Council has set a challenge for the day: what do citizens do – and how does Birmingham, its institutions and businesses, interact with them – in a city which does not waste anything?
A wide range of suggestions for things that participants can produce by drilling down into Birmingham’s data and other insights include:
• Design: what do homes and neighbourhoods look like when all materials are recycled, reused or otherwise processed locally?
• Behaviour change: what would make people more likely to recycle? What is the right balance of education, gamification and incentives?
• Technology: what technology should the city embrace to enable citizens to do the right thing when it comes to reuse and recycling?
• Public service: what needs to change about the way the city delivers services to enable citizens to reuse and recycle?
• Opportunities: waste is a resource. What opportunities are there for people to embrace that and deliver opportunities to themselves and their localities?
The best projects developed on the day will be taken up by the city, and rolled into the refresh of Birmingham’s waste strategy.
Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Sustainability at Birmingham City Council, said: “We need to look at how we can be as responsible as possible when it comes to using the earth’s precious resources.
“For example, the days of throwing out as much rubbish as you like onto the streets, with an expectation for it to be picked up by the council, are very much in the past – as natural resources are diminishing and it is simply not sustainable from a financial perspective.
“I know the city is home to some extremely creative and innovate minds. I hope they come together on June 18 for the long-term good of the city.”
This event will follow on from a successful event organised by Climate-KIC and the council in March, where experts from across the region laid out the principles for the future strategy.
Katharine Fuller, Director of Climate-KIC’s West Midlands Regional Innovation Centre at Innovation Birmingham Campus, was pleased that the city had taken up the Climathon challenge.
She said: “Climathon is an excellent opportunity for global cities to throw their most pressing climate change challenges open to their motivated, expert citizens. Birmingham’s commitment to developing the best projects and integrating them into a wider strategy is an exemplar of how innovative ideas and changes can be put into practice, and we are really looking forward to seeing what our participants come up with.”