The Free and Hanseatic city of Hamburg hosted its second Smartathon as part of the smarticipate project on 10 November, 2017. Citizens, city employees, NGOs, researchers and members of the business community were among the participants.

The first Smartathon took place in 2016, aimed at gathering user needs and ideas related to digital citizen engagement. In the last year, the smarticipate team has been hard at work developing the platform and example applications (“local services”) based on open data sets from the city. The second Smartathon provided an opportunity for participants to see what came of their discussions from the year before.

Around a third of those present had attended the first Smartathon. After a brief introduction from the smarticipate team and the event’s host, the Agency for Geoinformation and Surveying, citizens had plenty of time to test-drive the tree-planting application which was developed as a prototype. Making use of open data, the app includes an interactive map that displays all the trees in the city’s land registry. Users then have the possibility to explore options for placing new trees in public places. The smarticipate platform provides automatic feedback based on city data which might prevent a new tree from being planted (e.g. gas pipelines).

After spending some time playing with the app, each table of participants discussed their impressions of the platform. The smarticipate team again received abundant feedback from the participants, including ideas about usability, new features and other applications that could harness the smarticipate platform.