On August 14-21, 2020, we held a significant online event in the field of innovation development of the cities of Ukraine - IV urban hackathon SYNCHRO SPACE. The event was supported by the Innovation Development Laboratory of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine, the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine та FIABCI Ukraine.
Global urbanization, climate change and the rapid development of technology are forcing cities to change. According to experts, 70% of the world's population will live in cities by 2050, ie up to 6.5 billion people will become citizens. That is why one of the global goals of the UN is the sustainable development of cities and communities. Ukrainian cities need to innovate for sustainable development.
We, as part of the European continent, must take into account the ambitious goals that the European Union has recently adopted. By 2050, the European continent should become a climate-neutral continent, including Ukraine. We need to become more eco-friendly to nature and others.
Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine
Experience shows that today there are not enough architects and urban designers to create urban projects. Because technological and climate change requires, among other things, the involvement of IT professionals, engineers and environmentalists.

SYNCHRO SPACE is a unique platform for synchronizing the activities of different professionals in order to jointly develop and implement innovative projects in the cities of Ukraine and the world.

Working with city halls, communities, startups, professionals, entrepreneurs, Ukrainian and international experts, we help solve current challenges of cities with innovative projects.
    In my personal opinion, interaction with business will give a big impetus to local self-government in matters of digitalization. We in the Ministry of Digital Transformation see the development of private and public partnerships and interaction with startups as one of the key areas.
    Chairman of the Regional Digitization Directorate at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine and founder of FreshLine.
    2020 brought a lot of novelty and contributed to the achievement of new heights. For the first time, we conducted an urban hackathon in an online format, using the global exhibition platform

    This year we started cooperation with the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine and the Laboratory of Innovative Development of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Ukraine. Also, in addition to large cities, we now work with small towns and united territorial communities.

    In preparation for the IV Urban Hackathon, with the support of Ukrainian and international partners, we held a number of events. This helped to attract professionals and startups, as well as helped to create projects for cities:

      The city hackathon SYNCHRO SPACE is a very important event in the search for innovative and environmental sustainable solutions. The association of architects, designers, urban planners, engineers, IT developers and environmentalists is ideal for creating innovative projects that are on the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development.
      EU4CLIMATE National Project Coordinator, UNDP
      The opening of the urban hackathon began with speeches by SYNCHRO SPACE founder Alissa Ban'kovskaya, EU4CLIMATE national coordinator, UNDP Victoria Yashkina, Head of the Regional Digitization Directorate at the Ministry of Digital Transformation of Ukraine Vadym Bortnyk and Deputy Minister of Energy of Ukraine Yaroslav Demchenkov.
        15 teams took part in the IV urban hackathon SYNCHRO SPACE, which developed projects for Zaporizhzhya, Chuguiv, Gostomel and Lozivska OTG. Architects, designers, ecologists, urban planners, IT developers, engineers and other specialists from different parts of Ukraine have jointly created 16 smart solutions that can improve the quality of life in the cities of Ukraine.
        The reality of the past months has shown us that it is never too late to learn something new and do the usual things differently. This hackathon is a good example of this. After all, this year the hackathon was held online for the first time, and despite that, you managed to keep the spirit, enthusiasm and energy, which, as we thought, can only exist offline.
        Pieter van VLIET
        Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ukraine
        Indeed, the IV urban hackathon took place in an unusual format. After all, instead of the usual 24 hours offline, participants worked 7 days online. From Friday evening to Sunday evening was the most intense phase of work, during which the teams went through two mentoring sessions and continued to work hard until Tuesday. On the evening of Tuesday, August 18, the third mentoring session took place and then the competition was continued by the most enduring teams. Already on Wednesday evening, the teams sent their final presentations, taking into account the recommendations of mentors and the requirements of the urban hackathon. And on Friday, August 21, the final part took place, where the winners were determined by an expert jury and representatives of the cities. Also, projects that could potentially be implemented after refinements and clarifications were noted by city representatives.
        During the urban hackathon, the teams collaborated with 16 experienced mentors-innovators and had the opportunity to choose a team mentor, after the first mentoring session. This year a powerful team of mentors consisted of: Dmytro Aranchii, Svetislav Grbich, Kateryna Pylypchuk, Kostiantyn Andrusenko, Victoriia Podgorna, Oleksii Kushka, Ivan Bakhtin, Taras Dumenko, Yurii Kaygorodtsev, Оlexii Mas, Alex Nesterenko, Кateryna Kovalenko, Оlexander Karpenko, Pavlo Tkachenko, Nadiia Kopanytsa, Yevheniia Klepa. This is a unique opportunity for the teams - get valuable advice from experts from various areas in developing solutions.

        The long-awaited final part of the event began with bright speeches by the Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ukraine Pieter van Vliet, Vice President of FIABCI-Europe 2018-2020 Anna Koval and the presentation of the honorary jury.
        FIABCI, in cooperation with international organizations, advocates for the protection of human rights to affordable housing and the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the 11th goal is sustainable urban development. As part of a memorandum signed between FIABCI and UN-Habitat, the organizations jointly monitor the urban prosperity and housing affordability index, as well as the Urban Thinkers Campus (UTC). Urban-hackathon SYNCHRO SPACE in ideology and scale even prevails over the UTC.
        ANNA KOVAL
        Vice President of FIABCI-Europe 2018-2020
        The jury consisted of experts who evaluated projects in terms of ecology, technology and urban planning: Victoria Yashkina - national coordinator of the EU4CLIMATE project, Arseniy Kuznetsov - associate partner of the Belgian architectural firm UAUcollectiv, Alexander Krakovetsky - CEO DevRain and Ph.D. Yuriy Oreshkin, Saodat Usmonova and Olena Borovska (Zaporizhzhya), Igor Kashchavtsev (Chuguiv), Serhiy Grankin (Lozova) and Viktor Falkovsky (Gostomel). The analysis and expert evaluation of the projects helped the city representatives to make decisions and select the winning projects.

        As a result of clear synchronization and coordinated work, the teams, in a short period of time, really managed to create innovative projects at the intersection of technology, ecology, urban planning. All projects were presented in the final of the IV urban hackathon SYNCHRO SPACE and the winners are:

        • "iDev" – mobile application Smart City to determine cycling routes and to develop local tourism in Lozova OTG. Visualization of hiking trails and bike paths, navigation and creation of quests for citizens. Team mentor - Dmitro Aranchii
          • "UUM" – installation of a synthesis of works by Ilya Repin and modern audiovisual art for the House of Children's and Youth Creativity in Chuguiv. Team mentor - Taras Dumenko
          • "Zvidsy" – tourist routes, including visits to all reservoirs on the territory of Gostomel OTG, interactive filling of the central lake with zones for active recreation and natural experimentation. Team mentor - Alexey Mas
          • "UUM" – comprehensive solution to solve the problem of thermal stress in the South of Zaporozhye, which includes: an interactive park with the Laboratory of Climate Change for children, intensive vegetation and shading with trees, green roofs, rainwater collection system and increase the albedo color. Team mentor - Taras Dumenko
          All winning projects will be implemented with the support of the city authorities of Zaporizhia, Chuguiv, Lozivska and Gostomelska OTG. SYNCHRO SPACE will accompany the implementation of projects, as well as inform about its stages.
          I see a huge potential: each of our events in a chain reaction attracts more and more participants, and the interest in cooperation from the city authorities, the support of international partners - gives the opportunity to influence the changes in cities for the better.

          I believe that in the next decade Ukrainian cities will be on the lists of the best cities to live in.)

          Founder of SYNCHRO SPACE
          The SYNCHRO SPACE team is grateful to all partners for their support and assistance in organizing and conducting the event: Ukrainian Startup Fund, TechUkraine, Radar Tech, ISE Booster, Our format, Startup Ukraine, World Startup Factory, IoT Ukraine, Аssociation of opened cities, YEP! incubator, Center for Innovations Development, European Business Association, Mind. UA, ARCHI, edition Букви, journal Мир проектов. Special thanks to iHUB for a great location for online broadcasts.

          This hackathon is one more step towards the innovative development of our cities. After all, more and more cities are ready to cooperate and more and more teams and specialists are trying to create smart solutions and influence which cities we will live in. Thanks to SYNCHRO SPACE, cities solve their problems and challenges by introducing innovations. And they support innovative businesses and startups by becoming customers for them and piloting their solutions.

          Join the community of smart city creators. Because with us are those who create the cities of the future!
          Author of the article: Yana Kononova
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