City planners everywhere are designing programs for the sustainable use of energy and natural resources. Many are making plans that fortify their cities against the onslaught of natural disaster. Your challenge is to put these designs and plans into action by building an app with the ArcGIS Platform.

Esri will present one $10,000 award for the best professional/scientific app
and one $10,000 award for the best consumer/public-facing app.

Design an app around one or more of the areas on the United Nations Essentials for Making Cities Resilient list (below). Explore all angles to reducing urban risks. Build an app that is useful to specific community members or everyday citizens. Or design an app for researchers, scientists, and other professionals who will use it to influence policy or make planning decisions.

Winners will be announced September 15, 2014.

The contest start date is July 14, 9:00 a.m. Pacific Daylight Time

The submission deadline is August 27, 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time.


Register to Enter

App Challenge
and Background

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) launched the Making Cities Resilient Campaign to improve land use and urban planning for 1,800 participating cities worldwide. Esri is collaborating with UNISDR on the initiative and giving these cities access to its desktop and developer technology. Esri calls on the developer community to lend a hand by including the ArcGIS Platform in the development of new apps for urban resilience.

Apps will be evaluated on these criteria:

  • Originality of the idea
  • Technical Challenge of the Implementation
  • User Experience/User Interface
  • Potential for Real-World Application
  • Articulation of What Application Does

For more information read the official Rules and Guidelines.

App Ideas

  • Use the ArcGIS Platform to understand patterns of hazards, impacts, vulnerability and exposure – particularly for frequent events, which may not grab global attention but have localized impacts.
  • Present seasonal or long-term climate information and events such as El Nino Information.
  • Use publicly available information, such as census data or information on housing stock, to better understand exposure, vulnerability.
  • Enable communities to identify, record, and report hazard impacts or potential hazards.
  • Help connect the community through networking, project identification, initiative meetings, or collaboration.
  • Capture aggregate social media (Twitter feeds, Facebook etc.) and build the “buzz” about resilience, adaptation, and disaster risk reduction.
  • Organize a marketplace for risk reduction services to enable cities and communities to connect to technical service providers in private sector.

UNISDR 10 Essentials for
Making Cities Resilient

Put in place organization and coordination to understand and reduce disaster risk, based on participation of citizen groups and civil society. Build local alliances. Ensure that all departments understand their role to disaster risk reduction and preparedness.

Assign a budget for disaster risk reduction and provide incentives for homeowners, low-income families, communities, businesses and public sector to invest in reducing the risks they face.

Maintain up-to-date data on hazards and vulnerabilities, prepare risk assessments and use these as the basis for urban development plans and decisions. Ensure that this information and the plans for your city's resilience are readily available to the public and fully discussed with them.

Invest in and maintain critical infrastructure that reduces risk, such as flood drainage, adjusted where needed to cope with climate change.

Assess the safety of all schools and health facilities and upgrade these as necessary.

Apply and enforce realistic, risk compliant building regulations and land use planning principles. Identify safe land for low-income citizens and develop upgrading of informal settlements, wherever feasible.

Ensure education programs and training on disaster risk reduction are in place in schools and local communities.

Protect ecosystems and natural buffers to mitigate floods, storm surges and other hazards to which your city may be vulnerable. Adapt to climate change by building on good risk reduction practices.

Install early warning systems and emergency management capacities in your city and hold regular public preparedness drills.

After any disaster, ensure that the needs of the survivors are placed at the centre of reconstruction with support for them and their community organizations to design and help implement responses, including rebuilding homes and livelihoods.

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