City of Reykjavík: SPARCS RVK x Climathon – Co-create Mobility Hub
15 december 2022 | Location: Reykjavik
Smart Mobility

The City of Reykjavík hosted Climathon, a 24-hour ideation hackathon orchestrated by EIT Climate-KIC, supported by the EIT, a body of the European Union, on 28-29 October at Vísindagarðar in Gróska, Reykjavík Science City, to seek innovative and sustainable ideas for mobility from the public. The event is led by SPARCS, an EU program led by the Office of the Mayor and CEO of the City. It is a network of 7 European cities developing Sustainable energy Positive & zero cARbon CommunitieS and tackling climate change challenges with multifaced solutions.

One of the main focuses of SPARCS is to facilitate mobility development in the City of Reykjavík. Climathon becomes part of the public engagement strategy to get the residents, regardless of their background, race, gender or age, involved in the policy-making process.

The theme “Co-create Mobility Hub” aligns with current development at Hlemmur, a pilot site for mobility hub, the upcoming Borgarlínan City Line and the City´s policy on raising residents´ awareness on transportation being the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emission sector. In addition to prize certificate, the winning team also receive in-person coaching sessions with policy-makers at the Office of the Mayor and CEO and experts from relevant fields to discuss the potential to implement the idea in the mobility development.

The City of Reykjavík invited high-level representatives from the fields of mobility, sustainability and urban/city planning to offer Open Public Lectures to share their knowledge and experiences, so the participants could have a better understanding on the challenges and thus identify the opportunities from this complex context. (See full list of lecturers, mentors and panels in the end of the article)

“During the brainstorming session, we came up with a few ideas. After discussing with the mentors, we landed on the concept of creating this subscription model for e-bike rental,“ said Pedaló, the winning team.

Pedaló (temporary project name), with team members Eliska Adensamova and Sölvi Smarason who didn´t know each other before Climathon, was chosen by the judging panels after an intense 24-hour work session! Pedaló explains, “The idea is to offer monthly subscription packages to people who are interested in e-bikes. These packages will include both the bikes and accessories needed (helmet,bell,pump, lights, service). To start with, we will only offer this service through companies as employees perks, because employers can use their “samgöngu styrkur” (transportation grant) from to cover part of the monthly subscription fee. We believe the subscription model in mobility is a great way to engage more people in the e-mobility movement, since It is affordable, efficient and convenient for basically anybody to use, and of course, have a positive impact on our environment.“ When asking about their future vision, they added, “our next big step would be sourcing funds to cover the initial start-up cost, which would be used to cover the cost to purchase bikes and accessories, and to set up the foundation of the company. In the next three years, we would like to begin the starting phase of having the first paying customer!“ The representative from the Office of the Mayor and CEO had the first meeting with the team and both are very pleased with the discussion.

Eliska is from the Czech Republic and has been living in Iceland for over three years. She is graduated from University of Hradec Kralove with the focus in graphic design and multimedia programme, continues to expand her knowledge through internships in cultural diplomacy, creative learning and design., and has just finished her study at the Reykjavík Academy of Web Development. Sölvi was born and raised in Reykjavík and is studying computer science at Reykjavík University. He is a daytime salesman of a software company and a night time entrepreneur who actively develops his innovation projects and has participated in various incubators and hackathons.

The Office of the Mayor and CEO is going to host a post-Climathon pitching session next week and all the participants are invited. These young entrepreneurs can present their ideas to a team of policy-makers. It´ll be a precious opportunity to expand their network and receive more feedback for their blooming ideas! Sylva Lam, SPARCS and Climathon Project Leader emphasizes, “We believe everyone who lives in Reykjavík has a voice and power to make positive changes to the community. Sustainabiltiy is about environmental, social and economic growth; and Pedaló seems to fulfill all the criteria to be a responsible enterprise. Climathon is just the beginning. Our door is always open for new and innovative ideas!”

More information

Press release: Here

Event: Facebook event

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