United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has opened applications for the 'Urban Innovation Challenge', a program to transform the urban suburb of Hulhumale' into a 'smart city'.
The Urban Innovation Challenge is being held in partnership with Ooredoo Maldives, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives.
The theme of the Urban Innovation Challenge focused on Hulhumalé, is ‘Solutions for Public Services, Increasing Urban Resilience’ while the main focus points of the program will be social housing, urban mobility and urban waste reduction and management.
Aminath Shaliny, the project officer for the Urban Innovation Program, stated the program has been structured in a way that maximises youth participation.
According to UNDP, the challenge provides an opportunity for Maldivian youth to work with respective organizations, to co-create solutions to urban challenges by strengthening technological and innovative mechanisms to increase urban resilience.
All of the programme's challenges are focused on the United Nation's global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Applications are open to all locals from the ages of 18 to 34 until 15 October. Those interested can participate either individually or in groups of three or five.
Forty chosen participants will attend a workshop held from 17 to 23 October, where they will be mentored by experts from relevant fields.
Workshop sessions will be conducted by the Maldives Contacting and Transport Company (MTCC), Waste Management Corporation Limited (WAMCO), Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and Seoul Metropolitan Government.
Participants will pitch their innovative ideas from 25 to 27 October. Financial aid will be provided to the selected winners, after a six-month period during which their idea will be prototyped.
This is the first time an urban innovation program has been held in Maldives under the smart city initiative.