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HACKATHOME seeks ideas from the young talents of Lisbon, Source: Lisbon Municipality

Lisbon to solve ‘empty houses’ problem with a hackathon

Lisbon to solve ‘empty houses’ problem with a hackathon

Student teams will have 24 hours to come up with solutions for that issue

The city of Lisbon has 48,000 empty houses, according to its municipal website. This creates a huge gap when tackling housing issues, so the authorities have decided to let the citizenry decide what the best solution would be.

More specifically, the City Council together with local tech business incubator Startup Lisboa have decided to organize a hackathon, cheekily called HACKATHOME, which will be used to generate creative ideas. The latter need to be innovative, sustainable, and tech-oriented to provide new life to the unused housing stock.

Designing public policies with civic participation

Lisbon has more than 48 thousand empty houses, which are not serving their housing function. In this context, authorities want to appeal to the knowledge and dynamism of the entrepreneurial ecosystem to define public policies based on co-creation with citizens.

"Making these homes available to residents is an urgent mission that needs quick responses and at the height of the technological age we live in. Involving young people in this challenge aims to make this generation participate in decision-making, while at the same time we benefit from its ability to innovate technologically", explains the councillor for Housing, Filipa Roseta.

Participants in HACKATHOME will have 24 hours to devise a technology-based solution that fights bureaucratic processes and simplifies the process of providing information about empty houses to those who want to buy or rent a house in Lisbon.

Up to 15 teams will be selected, each composed of three to five student members, with training in different areas, such as technology, business management, engineering or architecture. Their mission will be to think of digital and sustainable solutions (at a social, environmental and economic level) that can be implemented in the city to adjust the gaps between housing supply and demand.

HACKATHOME will take place 28-29 May at the Beato Creative Hub, and applications will be accepted until 24 May. The winning team will get 7,000 euros, the second-placed will receive 2,000 and the third time will go home with a thousand euros cash prize.

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