80 hackers

3 city challenges to test your skills and collaboration

48-hours to develop a solution

£1,000 in prizes to share amongst the winning team


We’re inviting data specialists, software developers, user experience (UX) designers and service designers to bring their skills together for a fast-paced weekend exploring how London's public authorities can use data to address urban challenges!


About the Hack

City Data Hack 2018 brings together talented and passionate participants, mentors and challenge partners who are keen to explore how data and digital solutions can transform our cities.

Future Cities Catapult has partnered with three public authorities who play a key role in how London is experienced by millions of residents and visitors every day: the Greater London Authority, Transport for London, and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. Each of our partners has proposed a challenge that they currently face – with either a strong social or economic focus – for teams to solve over the weekend:

Transport for London

To ensure that London's transport authority is capable of monitoring and communicating the effects of new building developments on the city's travel network.

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London Borough of Barking and Dagenham 

To equip citizens and service providers with relevant and timely information on how social isolation can be tackled in the Borough.

Learn more

Greater London Authority

To ensure that information on careers, education and skills are easily available to young Londoners.

Learn more

Why are we hosting City Data Hack 2018?

Through Future Cities Catapult's and Space Syntax's Tombolo project, we’ve spent the past two and a half years researching how public authorities are using data to address their city challenges. We've also been developing products and services – such as our Digital Connector, Web Visualisation App and consultancy services – to assist them in improving this process. We've found that there’s a growing community of people vested in the same mission, so we established City Data Hack 2018 to bring these people together, test our products and develop impactful solutions for our challenge partners. We're also hoping that we'll plant a few seeds that might eventually grow into successful data and digital ventures for our participants too.

Our aims for the weekend

We have several key aims and outputs for the weekend:

  1. Most importantly, we want you to have fun! 
  2. We suspect that you've regsitered for this Hack, because you want to use your skills to make a difference in our cities, so it would be fantastic if we developed some really impactful solutions for our public authorities over the weekend. We hope that bringing together multi-skilled teams with the right mentorship and some useful tools will help you achieve a rewarding outcome.
  3. We’d like to demonstrate to others in the public sector that events like this can accelerate grassroots innovation and investment.

The month long competition

If you enjoy taking part in this Hack and feel your team is onto something, we'd love to invite you to take your idea on to the next level.

We’ll be facilitating an optional, month-long competition after the event, where participants will have a chance to develop their ideas further and receive some light coaching to make their solution more robust and impactful for the public authority. Teams with the most promising ideas will then have the opportunity to pitch their solution to key city stakeholders.

Marking criteria


Can the judges see how this solution could become a viable product or service in the future?

Can the judges see the technical feasibility of the solution?


Can the judges see how this data-informed concept or solution could transform how services are delivered in the organisation?

Has the team articulated the potential for scale?


Can the judges see how the solution meets the question set by the challenge setters?

Do the judges like this solution? Does it strike the judges as something interesting and appealing?

Does it demonstrate an impressive technical achievement? How good is the code?


Have the team provided feedback and contribution to either of the Tombolo tools?

Can the judges see that the team has demonstrated some really outstanding examples of collaboration with other teams or with each other, in a way that impresses the judges?


Social media: Whose Tweet received the most impact? Who has tweeted the most using the #citydatahack?

GitHub: Who has contributed the most to our GitHub account?


This solution is radical! It’s profound! It can make a difference! It does something really, really cool!


The main purpose of this hack is to bring together passionate people to tackle urban challenges, but we would like to offer an additional incentive for your time. The team who scores the highest number of points for their solution will win £1,000 worth of prizes to share amongst their team. We will also be offering individual prizes for those who are most active on social media and the person who contributes most to our GitHub account.

Useful information

We want this hack to be as impactful as it can be for you and for our challenge setters, so here are a few tips to make the most of the weekend:


Find our Digital Connector on Github and get up to speed on the story and development of the tool. Don’t forgot to make a note of your username for the weekend!


Join our Slack channel to meet others who will be attending the hack, learn more about the challenges, share files and keep in touch with your fellow hackers over the weekend.


Individual prizes are available for your social media efforts over the weekend, so remember to: