GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE HACKATHON!
GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE HACKATHON!
Photo Courtesy of TRCA
Ryerson Urban Water hosted The Green Infrastructure Hackathon on Oct 28-30th 2016 in collaboration with the City of Toronto.
Over the last year, Ryerson Urban Water and the City of Toronto have been working on green infrastructure initiatives including research, literature review, communications materials, a website, and the hackathon.
The hackathon brought students from 12 universities and colleges in the GTGH area from disciplines including urban planning, engineering, environmental studies, business, and public policy to form multidisciplinary teams to design green infrastructure.
More than 70 Professionals from the green infrastructure sector volunteered their time as presenters, mentors, and judges to support the event. The volunteer professionals came from industry, academia, and government.
Speakers presented key background material and challenges in designing and implementing green infrastructure. Then mentors guided the teams in their identification of a key problem to be solved. Teams designed green infrastructure that appealed to ecological benefits, community engagement, and business plan.
Teams pitched their designs to a Judges Panel represented by industry, academia, and government by way of a 5 minute Power Point presentation followed by a 3 minutes Q&A.
The Judges Panel was blown away by the 10 innovative designs that were delivered by the young minds.
The Hackathon tweets delivered by RUW were viewed by more than 20K people over October 28-30th. Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change liked and retweeted the hackathon and asked to see the student designs.
As follow up, students were advised on the protection of their intellectual property and offered career coaching. Four teams have met with Ryerson Zones to begin the process of making their designs a reality. Ryerson Zones will advise on business planning and next steps on engineering and design fabrication. Municipal and government representatives are counselling the teams and connecting them to industry contacts.
“The importance of this event can’t be overstated… [The students] demonstrated to me that they weren’t afraid to throw out the rules and focus on the performance-driven ideas… It was inspiring to see such enthusiasm and great ideas.," said Steve van Haren, Manager, Water Resources, WSP.
Councillor Janet Davis, City of Toronto said, "I think what Ryerson Urban Water is achieving by holding this hackathon is fabulous. The student solutions are terrific."
Jennifer Keesmat, Chief Planner of the City of Toronto met with the winning team and stated, "All three of your designs are brilliant. They are really public art designs. Just brilliant."
All students won books and magazines donated by Water Canada, Renew Canada, and FATHOM, and City of Toronto gold pins. Additionally, the first prize team won $2500 and career coaching session with Jennifer Keesmat, Chief Planner of the City of Toronto. The second prize team won $1250 and career coaching sessions with Xeroflor, manufacturer of green roof supplies.
Water Canada and Renew Magazines were the official media sponsor. Several private firms sponsored coffee breaks including Xeroflor, WSP, Intact Insurance, RTS Companies, and RainGrid.
Ryerson Urban Water continues to support the students as they navigate their way on developing their green infrastructure designs.
COFFEE BREAKS SPONSORS
Click below for information on green infrastructure projects: