Data in the City Hackathon

“Data in the City”, a 2-day Hackathon was organised by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and held from Aug 23 – 25, 2013, in partnership with UP Singapore. Attracting over 150 participants, the hackathon brought together urban planners, architects, sustainability experts, technologists, researchers, developers and designers to co-create new prototypes to help Singapore become a more livable, competitive and sustainable city.

The “Data in the City” Hackathon, along with a series of workshops leading up to the weekend focussed on tackling some of the core issues of urban planning including Optimized Mobility, Social & Public Safety, Smart Buildings and People. In just 48 hours, 18 original prototypes were created and showcased to our panel of judges who picked 5 winning teams for further development of their ideas.

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Singapore is one of the most well-planned and efficient cities in the world. However, with the population projected to increase to 6.9 million residents by 2030, the city’s infrastructure will need to continually improve. Thus, the Apps4SG competition was launched in April 2013 to look for innovative apps that help improve the way we live, study, work and play in Singapore. One of the activities under the competition is the ‘Data in the City’ Hackathon which brings together the private and public sector to co-create new innovations to drive growth in a more efficient and responsive manner.

Optimized Mobility

Singapore is a small island with a growing population. To keep up with this growth and become a remain a liveable city, Singapore needs to have a broad range of options for getting around that are flexible and responsive. Individuals also need to be empowered to choose sustainable transportation means and encouraged to use lower-impact methods.

Participants will be challenged to improve mobility in Singapore in several ways:

• Optimizing various transportation systems by distributing commuters among different routes and reducing waiting times and traffic as a result. • Creating tools to enable intelligent transport that incorporates human-generated data. • Empowering individuals to use flexible transport like ride-sharing and providing better access for the disabled and those in need. • Encouraging individuals to be creative about mobility including incorporating recreational activities such as biking into their commutes.

Social & Public Safety

Cities are more efficient and livable when the people, private sector and government work together to address challenges. Public safety, cleanliness and hygiene are critical issues in Singapore that can be addressed through improved data and collaboration.

Participants are challenged to create solutions that make Singapore a safer and cleaner city by:

• Improving the process of data collection and feedback on safety and cleanliness by harnessing the power of crowdsourcing. • Making safety and cleanliness data, such as local incidents of petty thefts and other disturbances.more accessible to citizens. • Combining and interpreting data in novel ways to enable individuals, the private sector and government to be proactive about improving safety and cleanliness.

Smart Buildings

Smart buildings leverage technology to adapt and be responsive to their environment in order to be more efficient and enrich the residents’ experience. Smart Buildings can be equipped to provide energy management systems, digital communication services and video surveillance services to enable information exchange between these systems. increasing productivity and energy conservation as a result. Participants will be challenged to create prototypes that improve the experience of those working and living in smart buildings:

• Developing responsive services that adapt to the arrival and departure of their visitors and tenants. • Collaborations with stakeholders including retailers, taxis and other service providers based on their visitor and tenants’ habits and external factors like weather. • Turning buildings into information hubs that provide useful, interactive information including weather, traffic, health alerts and trending media topics.


It is important that citizens are given the tools to be the best that they can be. It is also important that citizens stay connected to their past and find ways to tangibly record and conserve these intangible assets. Participants are challenged to create prototypes that : • Provide location-based services helping both citizens and tourists learn about the history around them and hear stories of the past. • Improve access to all of the resources in the National Library Board network for the visually impaired, elderly and other groups. • Create meaningful ways of visualizing Singaporean culture and the memories of its people. • Summarises different types of services that can be obtained from the different ministries, Voluntary Welfare Organisations,Family Service Centres etc. • Locates the nearest family-friendly businesses and determine a way to get there via public transport. • Allow consumers to find social enterprises (SEs) in Singapore. The app can recommend the list of nearby SE goods or services (e.g. F&B, retail) depending on the needs of the consumers and also facilitate users’ interaction (e.g. via ratings). The app can also feature SE-related events and news updates.


  • James Kang, Assistant Chief Executive (Government Chief Information Office, GCIO)
  • Andres Sevtsuk, Assistant Professor in Architecture and Sustainable Design at the Singapore University of technology and Design
  • Anandan Karunakaran, Vice President, Urban Planning & Design at Surbana Urban Planning Group
  • Aen Tan,
  • Andreas Schlegel, Media Lab, Lasalle College of the Arts
  • Professor Kees Christiaanse,
  • Heri Sim, SurePark


Check out the winning presentations below!

Crowd-sourced Urban Town Planning – Sing City is an app that accesses Open Data to enable citizens to identify the gaps of amenities/businesses in their neighbourhood and at the same time, make an effort to fill that gap.

Sing City

JFDI Challenge Winner #1

BUSotted is an application for a Heritage map that shows nearby useful tourist information like hotels, parks, and public transport spider maps. It is a simplified google maps for a person who has not been to singapore and does not know what to search for.


JFDI Challenge Winner #2

Centralized feedback system linking Citizens to Government agencies.

Point-a-View,is developing a mobile application to help young Singaporeans connect with their heritage through pictures, personal stories and conversations by combining voice-enabled technology with SMP.

Recycle It makes recycling fun and easy by using Smart Bins. Smart Bins Identify registered users by EZ-link card number, weigh recyclables collected; tag collections to users and alert recycling company when bin is filled, damaged etc.

Recycle It

NEA Challenge Winner



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