The #JustCityHackathon, a collaborative problem-solving event co-hosted by Ardhi University (ARU) and FES Tanzania, was organized in Dar es Salaam 28 – 30 September 2023. The three-day hackathon brought together 18 young professionals to think critically about social justice in the housing sector in Tanzania. It provided a platform to innovate and develop solutions to the urban housing crisis in Tanzania in teams of 2-5.
Together with the Just City Platform’s (JCP) Housing Working Group, FES believed that a hackathon is a great tool to ask young people – who are disproportionately affected by the housing crisis – to come up with new ideas and provide real solutions. The overall objective was the sustainable improvement of human settlements in times of rapid urbanization while combining urban planning and design practices with participation, equity, and co-production. This way, the hackathon empowered and encouraged young people to try to tackle even complex problems, and to create applicable solutions.
The event kicked off with a strong problem analysis panel debate. Afterwards, participants had a chance to listen to mentor talks in order to help them identify the real problem, who is affected, why it matters and, finally, its solution. Every team took part in mentoring sessions with experts.
The event ended with every team pitching their idea to the jury, which chose the winning team based on criteria such as impact; applicability (proof of concept); innovation; sustainability (viability); scalability and gender justice.