With nearly half of the population likely to be living in urban areas by the end of the next decade, Pakistani cities are in dire need of better planning and smart infrastructure. Together, Karachi and Lahore are home to at least 26 million people, and the GT Road belt of the Punjab province hosts several medium sized cities, whose population figures range between a million and three million. Academic studies and public discourse both testify that these cities neither have municipal infrastructure catering to the needs of existing residents nor have plans for managing the urban sprawl in the coming years.
Against this backdrop, the Center of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) and the MIT Enterprise Forum Pakistan are hosting a three-day competition bringing together students and young professionals to brainstorm on key problems faced by Pakistani cities and to propose their solutions.
Read more: Building Smart Cities in Pakistan
The event, Smart City: The Hackathon, will take place from March 9 to 11. Registration is already underway and will go on till February 26.
“Smart cities involve the use of technology for increasing operational efficiency, sustainability, economic outlook, and quality of life of their residents,” says a press statement released on the occasion.
“The hackathon will provide a platform to thinkers, innovators, entrepreneurs, and developers to find implementable solutions for our cities,” it adds.
The three-day event will feature a design thinking workshop conducted by Rizwan Zaidi, a former trainer for Telenor. Participants will be assigned problems from five major sectors – health, education, transportation, power, and environment. They will be required to brainstorm and come up with a solution by the end of the three-day event.