NEWS - 2021/10/08

Online Citython Hamburg Creates Solutions to Boost More Liveable Cities

Over four days, from 28 September to 1 October, Hamburg (Germany) hosted the third fully online edition of Citython 2021, where multidisciplinary teams of students and professionals were challenged to find innovative mobility solutions focusing on active mobility, autonomous and connected driving and making more public space usable for the residents in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. Citython Hamburg was also presented as one of the mobility-related activities organized by the city during the European Mobility Week and will take part in the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) World Congress Hamburg 2021, to be held on 11-15 October.

Organized by CARNET (coordinated by CIT UPC) in partnership with the City of Hamburg at the Digital Hub Logistics Hamburg, the ITS (Intelligent Transportation Systems) World Congress Hamburg 2021, and the European Mobility Week, the event is funded by the EIT Urban Mobility, a European initiative to improve mobility to make cities more liveable places supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

“How can we make sure that Europe stays in the vanguard, in the lead of sustainable urban mobility?”, Henrik Morgen, Director of Innovation Hub North at EIT Urban Mobility, said during the Citython opening ceremony on 16 September. “Our guiding vision is to use our powerful public and private partnership with academic institutions, cities, and industry to help our cities in Europe and beyond to create more liveable cities for the citizens and helping them to speed up the innovation and the transition, so they can make better use of the public spaces.

Citython Hamburg gathered experts in urban planning, engineering, data science, and business creation from all around Europe, that were split into teams that competed against each other to come up with the best solution to solve one of three urban mobility challenges faced by Hamburg by the City of Hamburg.

During the announcement of the challenges Mathias Höne, Ministry of Transport and Mobility Transition of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Desk Officer for ITS and data management, said: “The mobility of the future is safe, efficient and clean. We have the chance to enable urban spaces to be used as laboratories for mobility transition. That’s my expectation for the participants here today, that we identify new ideas and experiments we can try out in the city center of Hamburg. But they are just the beginning. A good city is like a good party. People don’t want to leave early, and that’s what we intend for Hamburg, that nobody want to leave early, and in the best case want to stay as long as possible.”

Dr. Rasmus Retting, Professor for Electrical Engineering and Sensors at HAW Hamburg, and Yannik Seidenberg, Project Manager EIT Urban Mobility KIC, also attended the kick-off event, and the webinar was finalized with an inspirational techpill talk by Florian Albert, Co-Founder of AVES Reality.

The Citython was run as an all-virtual event due to the pandemic. The hackathon days started on 22 September and encompassed four days of hard work, with participants working on their best solutions in a virtual environment, where they also received guidance and mentorship from experts and academics.

Participating teams developed their proposals until 30 September. The day after, they submitted their ideas in front of a judging panel of experts composed of Henrik Morgen, Harry Evers, Managing Director at ITS Hamburg 2021, Elisa Sayrol, Associate Professor at UPC-Academic Director at EIT Urban Mobility, and Dr. Laia Pagés, Executive and Scientific Manager at CARNET.

The winning teams for the proposed challenges are:

Winning team 1 – Challenge 1

Team Northlichter (Ervis Gjiknori, Andreas Kiziridis and Vincent Wilm)


With a bike route optimization tool, they want to provide the necessary information to bike users of the city of Hamburg to improve their decision-making on which trip to select for their route according to their preference. Nortlichter proposes a partnership of the city with mobility or a car manufacturing company to receive not only batch data but also real-time streaming data from these companies.

The main innovation of the solution Nortlichter proposes is the full integration of real-time granular probe telematics data through sensors of moving vehicles to map the roads of the city and identify areas with hazardous events, co2 emissions, slippery roads, etc. and deliver the dynamically generated KPIs to assist users following the safest, easiest and eco-friendlier route. The biggest advantage is that probe data is available from mobility companies and can be delivered in a reasonable time without much cost. Also, a pre-existing navigation system can easily integrate 3rd party data which leads to a concrete solution that will not require much effort and money by the city, but the impact will be huge for the lifestyle and safety of bike users and in environmental conditions as well.

Winning team – Challenge 3

UR VR-Hamburg (Federico Navarrete and Henry Acosta)


We offer a full-size platform for cities to subscribe to in which they will have a VR twin of the city that can be fed with specific local data, manage proposals from qualified residents, and most importantly, provide a seamless and user-friendly e-voting platform to bring democracy more easily. How will we achieve this? In three simple steps.

The first step will be hiring the services of companies like Aves Reality, which uses satellite images to build precise VR twins of any space in the world using AI and geo-referencing. These VR twins can be fed with specific information related to the area such as the Urban Data Platform of Hamburg and should be updated every year.

Secondly, the city hall planning department will determine which public spaces to intervene in and will open proposals to universities, students, and professionals in fields related to architecture, urban planning, and civil engineering.

Thirdly, using city hall registration information, the city hall will determine which residents are the most impacted by the project and will notify them via physical mail in the process of voting.

The winners of each challenge will have the opportunity for their solutions to be featured at the ITS World Congress Hamburg 2021 in October and the Smart City Expo World Congress in November.

This Citython initiative and activity was also presented during the European Mobility Week, the European Commission’s awareness-raising annual campaign to promote the idea of sustainable urban mobility, which took place from 16-22 September.

After three successful editions, Citython 2021 will bring the fourth and final edition of its annual event to Lublin (Poland) on 22-28 October.

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