On October 25, 2019 people from all over the world will meet for the Climathon. During the 24-hour climate hackathon, they will work together on new, creative solutions to local problems related to climate change. Einstein Center Digital Future (ECDF) is involved in the Climathon Berlin, which will take place in the newly opened Futurium. Six professors, led by Prof. Dr. Andrea Cominola, will represent the ECDF and work with the participants to find solutions to one of the most visible consequences of climate change – torrential rainfall.
In Berlin, 2017 recorded the heaviest rainfall event of the last 110 years, with about a quarter of the normal annual rainfall volume falling in only 18 hours. Extreme rainfall events can also affect the surrounding environment, especially in cities with a combined sewer network system, like Berlin.
How can crowd-sourced information be used and sustained to identify/map/monitor vulnerable areas to flash floods and develop early-warning systems? How can open data (e.g., satellite images) be used to forecast the impacts of droughts/floods in urban areas? Which interconnections between water networks and other infrastructure/networks (e.g., energy grid, transportation, telecommunications) can be exploited to develop integrated solutions? What is the role of water utilities and municipalities?
The six ECDF professors (David Bermbach, Felix Biessman, Andrea Cominola, Daniel Hromada, Sergio Lucia and Sangyoung Park) would like to discuss these and other questions with scientists, entrepreneurs, students, pupils, programmers and political decision-makers and develop solutions during the Climathon. "Berliner Wasserbetriebe provides us very useful application cases and data in order to accomplish the challenge," says Cominola.
"As Einstein Center Digital Future, we see it as our responsibility to make our contribution to combating climate change. We would like to bring the expertise from our digitalization research into the discourse. The Climathon is a great platform for this cause," says Odej Kao, speaker of ECDF.
The organizers of the Climathon are also pleased with the cooperation. "Thanks to strong partners such as ECDF who provide experts and background knowledge, Climathon participants can work effectively on strong local solutions in just 24 hours. Supplemented by the knowledge of the coaches and the global Climathon network, this creates a sound basis for urban climate innovations," says Julia Rawlins of Climate-KIC GmbH.