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Urban Data Challenge

How can we gain insights into cycling and micromobility flows and the ecosystem in Hamburg to make the city more liveable and sustainable?

Application phase is closed - Thank you for your interest!

Why data and why the Urban Data Challenge Hamburg? 

Data is a critical urban infrastructure – it leads to better public decision-making for example in infrastructure planning and service delivery, which serve the interests of the citizens. Specifically cycling and micromobility is a rich data ecosystem. In times of the mobility transition, the ambition and interest of making cycling and micromobility more attractive, integrated, safe, sustainable and convenient for citizens exists. The Urban Data Challenge is a competition of ideas that starts right there, promoting the collaborative use of data from public and private sources and showing how this can help make a city like Hamburg greener and more sustainable.

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Why cities and why Hamburg?

Cities are laboratories for democratic and sustainable innovation

They enable experimenting at scale for new collaborative practices and democratic standards for data sharing and furthermore provide normative and regulatory power coupled with infrastructural capacity and proximity to citizens.

This is especially true for the City of Hamburg, with its very ambitious digital policy goals, its net zero agenda and unique transparency laws that gives the citizens comprehensive rights to information as well as its advanced technical infrastructure and capabilities with the Urban Data Platform.

The City of Hamburg’s goal is to increase the share of all journeys made by public transport (including car sharing), cycling trips and foot traffic to 80% of the modal split by the end of the decade. The share of bicycle traffic shall be increased to 25 to 30%. For a more holistic and future-oriented view, the term micromobility includes all vehicle types next to bicycles, such as (electric) cargo bikes and electric scooters), which are allowed to go on bike lanes.

To achieve this goal, it is required to gain deeper insights into the new flows of micromobility on Hamburg’s streets. With optimal use of resources, this helps to improve infrastructure and have a user-focused way of mobility planning, which should prioritise vulnerable road users like users of micromobility and of course pedestrians. At the same time, users of such means of transport should respect the physical space where they are allowed to circulate and park, ensuring safety and convenience for other users.

What & How

Content and objectives of the Urban Data Challenge Hamburg

As part of the Urban Data Challenge, in addition to public data, a comprehensive set of exclusive private micromobility data will be made available, which will include various movement and vehicle data for a given time period. As part of this competition of ideas, these are to be analysed, combined and put into relation (optionally with other data sets proposed by the participants).

The goal is to use this to develop a holistic view of micromobility behaviour and, if possible, to enable a variety of the following analyses:

1. The most important use case to be considered is the change in mobility behaviour on the Reeperbahn due to the new eastbound pop-up bikelane from November 2022. By means of a before-and-after analysis, the city will investigate the resulting effects in the neighbouring districts of St. Pauli, Altona-Nord, Altona-Altstadt, Neustadt and Sternschanze and thereby derive results for further projects.

Beyond the "Reeperbahn" use case, the expected analysis results are to be used to implement infrastructural and traffic improvements. These findings can contribute to the following focal points and measures:

2. Analysis of the modal shift effects of the introduction of the pop-up bikelane and analysis of effects on transport mode choice

3. Identify areas and specific roads for further pop-up routes

4. Adjustment of the light signal programs on the basis of the measured average speeds and minimization of the average waiting times

5. Identify areas where maintenance and/or design improvements are required to increase the safety of users e.g., uneven roads and abruptly ending lanes 

6. Assessment of areas and specifications for parking facilities for micromobility vehicles

7. Support the development and expansion of the various cycling networks in the city

8. Alternate routes (where micromobility users and cyclists deliberately accept detours instead of direct connections as foreseen by e.g. cycling networks)

Process & Timeline

This challenge is carried out within the framework of a tendering procedure, the formal framework which is being organized by Dataport as the IT service provider of the City of Hamburg.

The first phase is an application process in which any interested company, organisation and academic teams can participate by submitting a request to participate. At this stage, the eligibility of the applicants will be assessed in accordance with the required criteria (see Part B - Description of Services as part of the official application documents).

All applicants who meet the eligibility criteria will then be invited to submit their basic concept which will be evaluated by the project team of THE NEW INSTITUTE and the City of Hamburg. We encourage every applicant, who is confident to meet the eligibility criteria to start working on the basic concept before this invitation. The best five proposals will be shortlisted and invited to a Pitch Day and will also receive an expense reimbursement of each €2,000. 

The selected teams will present their basic concept at the Pitch Day, which will take place on site in Hamburg in May. The pitch will be evaluated by a high-level jury consisting of members of THE NEW INSTITUTE, the City of Hamburg and partner companies. The two finalists will then be invited to submit a revised follow-up proposal with a detailed concept to continue with the next round of negotiations with the City of Hamburg.

After completion of all negotiation rounds, the City of Hamburg will invite the two finalists to submit their final proposals of which the winner of the challenge will be selected.

The winning team will then be granted financing of €40,000 for the following implementation and to further develop their technology to meet the challenge's objectives. 

The most relevant dates for the challenge are listed in the table below. A complete overview of the process can be found in the official application documents.

Dates Phase
23.02.23 - 20.03.23 Call for applications phase one: submit application & eligibility
10.03.2023 Deadline for submitting questions
17.03.2023 Answers to questions will be made public
20.03.2023 Deadline for submitting your application
27.03.23 - 13.04.23 Call for applications phase two: submit basic concept
31.03.2023 Deadline for submitting questions
05.04.2023 Answers to questions will be made public
13.04.2023 Deadline for submitting your basic concept
21.04.2023 Shortlisted solutions will be announced and invited to the Pitch Day
05.05.2023 Pitch Day in Hamburg
May (W19) - June (W21) Final round for two finalists to submit detailed proposal
June (W21) Deadline for submitting your final proposal
June (W23) - June (W25) Negotiation phase and announcement of the winning team
July - October Implementation Phase
October Public event presenting the project results in Hamburg

What do we offer?

Financing  - €40,000 to develop and prototype your solution during the implementation phase

Exciting data - Our partner companies are providing exclusive private micromobility data, enriched by large public urban data

Real challenge - Available public data is not sufficient in all cases - increased sharing of previously non-public data and collaboration with the private sector can create value for all sides and, with the help of innovative companies and startups, enable cities to develop new solutions to address the biggest environmental and urban challenges

Networking - The top five teams will have valuable networking opportunities with project stakeholders during the Pitch Day in May '23 and through the participation of the Senate Chancellery, the Hamburg Authority for Transport and Mobility Transition, as well as recognized international experts

Be a pioneer - Participation in an innovation project unique in Germany, testing B2G2S (Business-to-Government-to-Society) data exchange in a controlled environment and advancing the regulation of data exchange for the public interest

Who is eligible to apply?

Companies, research institutions and teams that meet the following criteria (more details are provided in the official challenge documents)

  1. You have the necessary human and technical resources as well as sufficient experience to carry out the contract to an appropriate quality.
  2. You have the necessary economic and financial capacities to execute the contract.
  3. Neither your company nor any freelance team members are business competitors of a partner company of the Urban Data Challenge.
  4. You are able to manage and implement the proposed solution either in German or English.



What are the objectives of the Challenge? 

The Challenge is a competition for ideas seeking innovative solutions that put the collaborative use of mobility data from public and private sources to the test. We are collaborating with renowned industry partners in the field of cycling and micromobility. By providing data for the best concept idea, our partners help drive innovation and explore new models of data sharing between business, government, and society (B2G2S) to support transportation planning in cities.

Who is behind the Challenge?

The City of Hamburg and THE NEW INSTITUTE have partnered to work on the joint innovation project The New Hanse. The aim of the project is to test and implement new models for digital democracy and the use of data for the common good, with a particular focus on the topic of sustainability within cities.

What is in it for me?

The winner of the Challenge will receive €40,000 to prototype their porposal. The top five applicants will each be granted a reimbursement allowance of €2,000.

Who can apply? 

Any type of organisation, private or public, startup or SME, is invited to participate in the Challenge. Individual companies may also form a consortium. Applicants are eligible only if neither themselves nor members of any bidding consortium or subcontractors (which also include freelancers or other team members) are business competitors of a partner company of the Urban Data Challenge.

Until when can I apply?

The following two deadlines are to be met:

By March 20, all applications for participation (including a short abstract) must be submitted. The information provided in this round serves to verify your eligibility.  

By April 13, the basic concept must be submitted.

For both submissions, please use the templates provided on Dataport's eProcurement platform.

Which languages for the application are accepted?

Applications are welcome in both German and English are welcome.

How can I apply? 

Applications for participation must be submitted in text form on Dataport’s eProcurement platform and signed by an authorized representative with first and last name. The submission of the application for participation will be confirmed by e-mail.

What is the submission process and what deadlines do I need to meet?

Submission of application for participation: March 20

Call for proposals starts: March 27

Submission of basic concept: April 13

Pitch day: May

Final concept: May (week 21)

Negotiations with Dataport / BVM: May-June

Final proposal: June

Note: We encourage you to start working on the proposal right after submitting your application to maximize your time.

When will the shortlisted proposals be announced? 

You will receive feedback on your basic concept at the end of calendar week 16 in April. The five best proposals with the highest total score from will be invited to the Pitch Day in calendar week 18/19 and will each be granted a reimbursement allowance of €2,000.

Who will evaluate my application and proposal?

The eligibility check and the selection of the top five shortlisted proposals will be carried out by experts from the City of Hamburg and THE NEW INSTITUTE. The selection of the two finalists on Pitch Day will be made by a distinguished interdisciplinary jury which will bring in a variety of different perspectives.

What happens on the Pitch Day?

On Pitch Day, the five best teams present their proposals to the jury and receive feedback. The jury then selects two finalists who enter into direct negotiations with the City of Hamburg, further refining their proposals. The city of Hamburg subsequently selects the winner of the Urban Data Challenge Hamburg.

Who can I contact if I have any further questions? 

Questions about the Challenge may only be submitted via Dataport’s eProcurement platform. All questions will be collected and the answers will be published on the same platform. Please refer to the table above for the exact dats. For all other questions, please contact info@thenewhanse.eu.