40 Students | 10 Days  | 7 Universities

The Challenge will gather 20 South African and 20 Dutch students where they will work together to co-create 5 to 10 tangible and fundable business cases that solve the City of Cape Town’s most urgent urban challenges.

This is a unique opportunity to stimulate education, entrepreneurship and network development opportunities among the students. At the end of The Challenge, the students will pitch their solutions during The Showcase, where the winners will be announced. 

By focusing on connecting the student’s business cases to financing opportunities, the students are enabled to further develop and implement their business cases after the project. 


  • green hospital can be defined as one which enhances patient well-being, aids the curative process, use new technologies and innovation while utilising natural resources in an efficient environmentally friendly manner. Your challenge is to design a green hospital considering cost effectiveness, water use, energy efficiency and digitalisation.
  • What e-health application can be developed which can provide effective, live quality data so users and health care practitioners can make real time informed decisions about health care options?
  • What application can be developed to provide effective live water quality data so end users, municipalities and policy makers can make real-time informed decisions about water use for household (primary) and recreational (secondary) use?
  • What mechanisms and technologies can be developed to improve the built environment’s relationship with human systems, the wider ecosystems and the natural water cycle? 
  • Develop an application/technological solution to address water quality within neighbourhoods in order to make water re-usable. Consider aspects such as sustainable sanitation, resource recovery and green buildings.
Energy - Renewable Energy
  • Considering the impact of climate change on a city particularly with regards to energy. What innovative interventions could help the diversification of the energy mix while also conserving biodiversity, reducing waste to landfill and increasing recycling?
  • Design a power storage solution that would contribute to a decentralized solution(s) to build resilience to power outings within the city that would benefit the private sector and communities.
  • Develop an example of a climate smart technology for the agriculture sector in urban Cape Town.
  • Develop an application for empowerment of women in agriculture and agro-processing to contribute to wealth and economic development.
  • How to grow the most vegetables in the least space in the shortest timeframe – is an exercise which replaces current conventional crop production methods and has been proven at various community gardens – however the mindset and attitude change required requires a large scale demonstration that can be related to a biofuel crop exercise.
  • How to prepare the most energy efficient meals without losing caloric and kilojoule value in the shortest time - off the grid – aimed at the secondary food producer (for example restaurants) in conjunction with the primary food producer (farmer).
  • Climate change will have complex impacts on agriculture and its ability to provide food products. These effects will be both direct, due to the impacts it will have on biophysical processes and on the agro-ecological conditions at the basis of agricultural systems, as well as indirect, affecting growth and wealth distribution, and as a result on demand for and access to agricultural products. Develop a tool that will take into consideration the risk factors of climate change to mitigate challenges for urban food security.
Transport, Maritime and Logistics
  • Automated Data Collection - The City Transport Planning Department requires large amounts of varied data types for scenario analysis and planning of transport systems into the future.  Much of this data must be collected frequently, manually and at great cost.
    • What data should the City be collecting and how should it be collected to enable effective planning and operational management of all transport systems and modes?
    • How can this best be automated and optimised, considering current and future technologies, the internet of things and the commuters themselves?
    • Are there any real time feedback loops that can improve the commuting experience and promote the use of public transport? Consideration will be given to sustainable transport modes including non-motorised transport.
  • Integrated Ticketing – the passenger perspective - There are multiple options for integrated ticketing systems in terms of the technology available for multi-modal and interoperable public transport systems. Many of these are designed for implementation in the developed world where cashless systems are ubiquitous. Is this appropriate in South Africa? Considering the current fare payment methods on the less formal modes that will need to be integrated with formal modes for a truly interoperable system?  In Cape Town what is the unbanked proportion of the population and are they reliant on cash only as payment? Or are there other forms of banking in our context that could be brought into a technology driven system for integrated ticketing?  How does this inform the fare medium options to best serve all of the population over the range of income groups and payment preferences? Consideration will be given to transition over time as the finance and banking ecosystems evolve over time.
  • Road to Rail Freight – Business Process Mapping - In South Africa there has been a migration of freight movement from rail to road based forms of transport.  This is particularly evident in port cities like Cape Town where there are a large proportion of heavy freight vehicles on the road network.  This places a significant burden on the network in terms of both shared space with other users and increased road maintenance requirements due to heavy axle loading.  There are complexities around the ability for freight movements to migrate back to the rail network in terms of the South African legislative and institutional frameworks relating to road and rail freight systems.  This will require unpacking from a policy, regulatory and institutional perspective for multiple spheres of government in order to develop a business process map to enable effective migration of freight from road to rail modes.  The challenge is to develop this business process map.




Looking back at #cocreateMYCITY 2017









Transport & Logistics