48 Hours Innovation Challenge – Using AI for Sustainable Urban Development


Dear participants, welcome to the kick-off of the 48 Hours Innovation Challenge! On this page, you will find all the information necessary to participate in the challenge. But first, please take the time to watch our kick-off video and read all the information on this page carefully!

The challenges

1. Climate change adaptation & vulnerability (CCAV) challenge

In response to the increasingly escalating climate change, urban infrastructure and spaces are confronted with unprecedented challenges. These range from rising temperatures and sea levels to more frequent and more severe weather events. Urban environments are centres of economic growth and cultural development, making them highly vulnerable to climate change impact. Many of the world’s largest cities are located in coastal areas. This increases their vulnerability to rising sea levels, heat waves and storm surges, risking livelihoods, property and urban infrastructures.

Adaptation refers to the process by which cities prepare for the specific impacts that they expect to face.

For the CCAV challenge, we want you to focus your solution on the following factors:

  • Develop transformative solutions that enhance the adaptive capacity of urban infrastructure, ecosystems and social frameworks and thereby reduce the vulnerability to climate-induced stresses.
  • Show how adaptation relates to disaster risk reduction and poverty alleviation and share principles to guide the adaptation process. Describe the different stakeholders and institutional actors that need to be involved in adaptation, as well as mechanisms for organising an adaptation effort formally and informally.

2. Rapid urbanisation (RU) challenge

In the whirlwind of rapid urbanisation, cities are swelling at unprecedented rates, leading to critical challenges in sustainability, equity and resilience. This challenge seeks solutions that reimagine urban development through the lens of sustainability, focusing on the efficient use of resources, innovative housing solutions, green infrastructure and inclusive public spaces for its demographic. The goal is to foster harmonious urban growth that aligns with environmental stewardship, economic vitality and social welfare.

For the RU challenge, we want you to focus your solution on the following factors:

  • Develop transformative solutions that focus on balancing economic growth, infrastructure development and social services with the environmental and societal impacts of dense population centres. Aim to enhance the quality of urban life while fostering inclusivity and resilience in the face of expanding city landscape.
  • Cities and regions hold strong transformative powers and must play a key role in fostering the green growth agenda. They are e.g. policy laboratories for action on climate change through local regulations, urban services, programme administrations, and city purchasing and property management.

3. Sustainable transportation and mobility (STM) challenge

Urban hubs like Jakarta and Berlin face common challenges related to transportation and mobility, including traffic congestion, inefficient public transportation systems, environmental pollution and the need for sustainable solutions. Meanwhile, cities are major contributors to CO2 emission. The aim of this challenge is to address these challenges and create innovative, sustainable and efficient transportation and mobility solutions in Indonesian or German urban environments.

For the STM challenge, we want you consider the following factors:

  • Solutions contributing to the effective usage of existing or novel transport systems such as optimised traffic flows, reduced congestion and minimised commuting time.
  • Logistics as a measure to address the challenge, through technology like sensors, last-mile delivery solutions, verification systems or else.
  • Monitoring of climate-related information such as CO2 emissions, predictions and analyses.
  • The promotion or incentivization of the use of sustainable transportation options, as well as the optimisation of the user environment through an accessible infrastructure and dynamic routing.
  • The innovative potential of existing transportation and mobility systems.

General data sources

We encourage you to use data sources to underpin your solutions. The following resources serve as an inspiration:




  • Ministry of Transportation (MoT): The MoT provides comprehensive reports on various aspects of transportation, including data on vehicle ownership, traffic congestion and infrastructure development in Indonesia.
  • Clean Air Initiative for Asian Cities (CAI-Asia): CAI-Asia conducts research on air quality and transportation-related issues in Asian cities, including Indonesia. Their reports offer insights into transportation emissions, public transport usage, and sustainable urban transport policies.
  • Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) Indonesia: ITDP Indonesia publishes research reports, case studies, and best practice guides on topics like bus rapid transit systems, pedestrian-friendly streets and cycling infrastructure.
  • German Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV): BMDV is responsible for transportation policies and provides valuable data on sustainable transportation in Germany. They publish reports on topics such as e-mobility, public transport usage and cycling infrastructure.
  • German Aerospace Center (DLR): DLR conducts research on various transportation-related topics, including sustainable mobility. Their studies cover areas like electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered transportation and the integration of renewable energy in transportation systems.
  • Institute for Mobility Research (ifmo): The ifmo focuses on interdisciplinary mobility research, including sustainable transportation. Their research reports cover topics like mobility behavior, shared mobility services and the impact of digitalisation on transportation.
  • German Environment Agency (UBA): The UBA provides data and insights on sustainable transportation and its environmental impact. They publish reports on topics such as greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, noise pollution and the promotion of sustainable mobility alternatives.

Case study hub

To give you an impression of how AI can be utilised in a sustainable matter, we provide you with three approaches by FAIR Forward, working on equitable AI solutions globally.

Handing in / formatting details

Your solutions should adhere to the following standards:

  • Submitted by 7 December, 15:00 (Indonesian time) / 9:00 (German time)
  • Min. font size: 11
  • 1.5 line spacing
  • 1-inch margin size (default)
  • Max. 4 pages
  • Submission as one pdf file to digital-dialogues@giz.de
  • Title following the example: GROUPNAME_InnovationChallengeSubmission
  • You may add a cover design, which will not count into the 4 pages. This is not a requirement.

An appendix is permitted but must be restricted to sources, code, tables. Graphics supporting your argument should be included in the text; if necessary, they may be added to the appendix as well.

Please have an executive summary in the beginning which indicates which sub-challenge you selected and shortly summarises your proposed solution.


Inclusion of artificial intelligence (AI): Your solution should incorporate AI as a key component. This could involve many different applications such as using AI for data analysis, predictive modeling, optimisation or the development of an ethical AI framework to support your solution.

Focus on urban regions: Your solution should be tailored to address the specific challenges faced by urban regions in Germany and/or Indonesia.

Types of solutions: We welcome solutions that take various forms, such as a policy framework, community-driven approach, technological application, or any other relevant approach to steer cities towards a sustainable and equitable future. Be creative in thinking about how your idea can make an impact on the urban challenges.

Judging criteria

When judging your proposals, our judges will look at the following criteria and questions:

Overall innovativeness:

  • How does the solution differ from existing approaches? Does the innovation solution have a new approach or perspective?
  • How is AI incorporated in the proposal?
  • Did the solution incorporate diverse perspectives?


  • What difference can the solution make?
  • To score high in this category, the solution should describe effects that are positive, longer term or broader in scope and capture its indirect, secondary and potential consequences.


  • Is the innovation doing the right thing?
  • How sensitive is the innovation to the economic, environmental, equity, social, political economy and capacity conditions in which it takes place?


  • How well are resources being considered?
  • How is the solution engaging with the reality of economic, social, technical and financial resources through which their innovation would be implemented?

Clarity and presentation:

  • Is the innovation proposal clear and understandable?
  • Are the ideas articulated professionally, demonstrating a clear understanding of the problem and a well-thought-out approach to the solution?

Award ceremony: Presentation to the German and Indonesian government

The winning team will present their solution at the Indonesian-German AI Dialogue on 12 December to representatives of the German and Indonesian government, the German Embassy Jakarta as well as representatives from various companies, associations and think tanks. The embassy will hand over an official certificate to the winners of the 48 Hours Innovation Challenge.

We wish you great success!


Contact us! If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out to us at digital-dialogues@giz.de. We're here to support you!

Background: About the 48 Hours Innovation Challenge

We believe that digital technologies and AI have the potential to solve critical issues in our cities. However, many different aspects need to be considered when using AI, including social and ethical aspects. We need bright minds and ideas on how to tackle urban development issues reliably and safely using digital technologies.

Therefore, the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and Informatics (MCI), the German Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) and the German Embassy Jakarta invited you to participate in this challenge. We encourage digitally and technically enthusiastic students from German and Indonesian universities to contribute their ideas, whether you take part alone or in a team of up to four students. In just 48 hours after the kick-off, you will craft a solution and submit it online.




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