Work, Technology and Participation

#HackYourDistrict | Digital Participation for Net Zero and Inclusive Cities

A German-Taiwanese workshop series on the use of open data and civic tech in urban development


Cities around the world are called upon to make a significant contribution to reducing emissions. According to UN-Habitat (2011), cities consume 78 per cent of the world's primary energy and produce more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. However, cities can also play a pioneering role in the implementation of climate protection measures and innovations. Co-operative planning approaches and technological innovations can be used to reduce emissions. This includes the decarbonisation of transport and energy systems, industry, buildings, tourism, etc. However, the use of technology-based solutions can only succeed if as many stakeholders as possible are involved in the process.
The aim of the workshops is to demonstrate the benefits of open data, open tools and civic technologies for the transformation of cities. The interplay of open data, civic engagement and artificial intelligence offers completely new opportunities for collaboration, data collection and organisation. Smartphones enable communication and data collection almost everywhere, open-source programmes put previously reserved for experts into the hands of everyone, and tiny sensors can make urban material flows visible. This combination of technology and co-creation creates an exciting topic area that we are addressing together with international experts and alumni.


Participants in the five-day workshops, which will be held in Berlin and Taiwan, will learn about different use cases of civic tech and open data in the analysis and planning of cities. The participants are not only sensitised to the topic, but also work in teams on new solutions, collect data or build sensors. In close dialogue with civil society actors (example: GoV in Taiwan), we apply civil tech to specific urban examples and examine which tools we will need in the future to plan and design cities with lower emissions and in a more people-friendly way. The workshops are accompanied by external keynotes, design thinking, alumni inputs, world cafés and hackathons.

2024 - Tainan

The Call for Application for this year's workshop in Tainan (@National Cheng Kung University) will be published here shortly. The workshop is expected to take place in Tainan at the end of October 2024 and will focus on open data and open tools in the field of mobility and transportation.

2023 - Taipei

In the second HackYourDistrict workshop, which took place from 17 - 21 October 2023 in Taipei (at the National Taiwan University), over 30 participants from Asia, Europe and South America joined forces with representatives of the Taiwanese civil tech movement and worked together on the development of digital tools for urban development and analysis. A two-day hackathon was organised for this purpose, in which the participants addressed urban challenges and developed joint (digital) solutions. The proposed solutions could be conceptualised or use existing codes or data to further develop them with regard to a case study in Taipei. The case study is a wetland in the north of Taipei (Guandu), which is to be developed selectively despite the site's outstanding ecosystem services. The results of the workshop were then presented to representatives from politics and administration. On the last day, the participants gave smaller presentations and took part in panel discussions at the Taipei Climate Change Expo.

2023 - Review

HackYourDistrict Taipei 2023

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2022 - Berlin

At the first HackYourDistrict workshop, which took place from 5 - 9 December 2022 in Berlin (at the EUREF Campus and TU Berlin), over 30 participants from Asia, Europe and North and South America were given an overview of the status quo of the latest developments in the field of open software and open data with regard to urban challenges in the Global North and South. In addition to keynote inputs from Germany and Taiwan, knowledge of digital urban development was further deepened in the context of excursions, expert discussions and a World Café. The highlight was a German-Taiwanese makerspace in which participants were able to learn how to build NOX and noise sensors and collect their own data in real time with the help of an open community platform. A total of six sensors were built. These were then distributed as "souvenirs" to workshop participants with the request to install them in their home countries. In a digital follow-up meeting, the installed sensors (usually on the participants' balconies or at work) were then presented to the group and the challenges of installation and data transmission were discussed.

2022 - Review

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Project Partner

  • National Taiwan University (Department for Political Science / Department for Civil Engineering)
  • TUB Alumni Program
  • EUREF Campus
  • Research Campus M2G
Office MAR 1-1
Building MAR
Room MAR
Organization name Office of Communication, Events and Alumni
Building H
Room H 2515

In cooperation with


Funding Giver (January 2022 to December 2025)