Shape the future of cities!

The majority of people around the world now live in cities for the first time in human history. This rapid urban growth creates big opportunities and challenges. The need to address them is urgent.  You can shape the future of cities by using the latest technologies. Join the UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center, the UAB School of Engineering, the Alabama Media Group/AL.comAuburn Universityand Code for Birmingham for Alabama's Global Smart Cities Hackathon and be part of one of the biggest and most exciting changes of our times! 

The Global Urban Datafest is a multi-city hackathon, a weekend of intense collaborative coding. We bring together two diverse groups. One is developers, data scientists, open hardware enthusiasts. The other includes urban experts, journalists and specialists in all other fields. Diverse teams typically produce best results. This is why we invite people of all backgrounds to participate. 

Make An Impact. Register Here


What will I do at the hackathon? 
You'll work with a team to rapidly design solutions for challenges. At the end of the two days, teams will present their solutions to a panel of city representatives and other experts. You could help ideate and create an innovative software or hardware application.

What are the challenges?

  1. Urban Revitalization and Land Bank
  2. Food Insecurity and Mobile Food Markets
  3. Trail System Usability and Monitoring
  4. Government Data Converter Tool
CLICK HERE for a detailed description of projects


Raspberry Pi for Raffle!

Every participant will have a chance to win a Raspberry Pi Model B+ as long as the team present a demo about the project. We've got 15 of them and may the luck be in your favor!

Top Two Teams
  • Each team will receive a cash prize provided by
  • Both teams will be nominated for global recognition, and have two additional weeks to prepare for the global competition*.
  • Consulting services including a preliminary feasibility assessment and business model design (sponsored by the UAB Collat School of Business). 
IBM Prize
  • Eligible for one team. Teams competing for this prize have to use IBM Bluemix platform. For more information see here.

Friday, February 20
6:00 PM    Kick-off Reception
6:30 PM    Description of challenges to address
7:00 PM    Teams formation and project planning
Saturday, February 21
9:00 AM -  Competition starts (day 1)
9:00 PM -  Day 1 ends
Sunday, February 22
9:00 AM    Competition continues (day 2)
1:00 PM    Demo and presentation preparation
4:30 PM    Presentations and Judging 
6:30 PM    Awards


Please take a look at the global rules, but here's the gist:

  1. Create a project page before Saturday. Include the team name as well as team member names, but feel free to leave out project information if you are not sure yet. We'll use these names for the Raspberry Pi raffle throughout the weekend!
  2. Complete project information by 5:30 PM on Saturday.
  3. Have the demo ready by 4:30 PM on Sunday.
  4. The project code has to be written during the weekend. (using an existing open-source library is fine)
  5. Create a GitHub repo as early as possible if you plan to open source your project. Contact us to add you into the global-urbal-datafest organization. Please note that to participate in the global competition, your project needs to be open source.
Auburn University
City of Birmingham, Mayor's Office
Code for America / Code for Birmingham 
Freshwater Land Trust
IBM Smarter Cities Challenge
Marketry, Inc. 
MAX / Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority
My Green Birmingham
Red Mountain Makers
Regional Planning Commission of Greater Birmingham
REV Birmingham
Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System
University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB)
UAB COLLAT School of Business
UAB College of Arts & Sciences
UAB Honors College
UAB Minority Health & Health Disparities Research Center
UAB School of Engineering
UAB School of Medicine
UAB Student Association for Computing Machinery
UAB Sustainable Smart Cities Research Center 
YMCA of Greater Birmingham

Use IBM Bluemix for your Hacks! Click here to Learn!

Alabama Media Group /
1731 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203
Free parking

Kick-off Meeting
6 PM, 20 February 2015, CT

Software and Hardware Design
Start: 9:00 AM, 21February 2015, CT
End:   4:30 PM, 22 February 2015, CT

Demonstration and Judging
4:30 AM, 22 February 2015, CT


Ann August

Phil Amthor, AICP 
City of Birmingham, Mayor's Office - Land Bank

Niki Doyle
Advance Digital

Sri Karra
City of Birmingham, Mayor's Office - IT Management

Ryan Parker
Freshwater Land Trust - Red Rock Valley Trail System

Nate Schmidt

Mary Ann Smith-Janas
Marketry, Inc. 

Diane Tucker, PhD
UAB Science and Technology Honors Program

Raghela Scavuzzo
REV Birmingham Food Program

Molly Wasko, PhD
UAB Department of Management, Information Systems, Quantitative Methods


Anthony C. Hood, PhD
UAB Collat School of Business

Deontee Gordon
Code for Birmingham


Teresa Bouza

Alabama Media Group /
Michelle Holmes
KA Turner
Elizabeth Hoekenga
Ian Hoppe

Code for Birmingham
Marcus Dillavou
Tait Wayland

UAB Sustainable Smart Cities 
Research Center
Fouad H. Fouad, PhD
Molly Wasko, PhD
Paula Alvarez
Maria C. Norena