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Urban Green Recovery

Urbanization and climate change are well-known challenges in terms of social and sustainability issues - even more so for developing countries facing massive urban growth. Help the state of Rwanda in building its capital Kigali as a blueprint for sustainable and green cities. Develop climate-friendly and revolutionary innovations for green urban development!

#innovateRwanda #sustainablecities #urbaninfrastructure

  • ✅ Challenge completed
  • 🏁 Winner
    Congrats to RefresherBoxx for winning the Challenge!
  • 🏆  Rewards
    EUR 3,000 per Challenge + funding programs with the state of Rwanda and BMZ digilab + joint publication | For more see Tab “Rewards”
  • 🌎 Scope

    Open to participants from all over the world

Important details
Rwanda & Kigali



Urbanization and climate change

Despite an often rather negative first association to the keyword "urbanization" by many people, it is undeniable that cities are key drivers of economic and social growth. In fact, no country has achieved a high standard of living for its citizens without urbanization. The growth and development of cities thus continues to be an essential part of economic and social development globally.

As an example, Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, which is the focus of this Challenge, is experiencing rapid urbanization with a current population of 1.6 million, projected to increase to 3.8 million by 2050. Yet even at the current status quo, the city resources are strained in catering to the existing population.

The challenges Kigali faces today are:

  1. Environmental threats. Scientific forecasts indicate that hundreds of millions of urban residents could become increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters like flooding, landslides, or extreme weather in the coming decades. Rapid urbanization forces quick deployment of basic infrastructure, which coupled with more frequent and extreme weather events is linked to global climate change. Making Kigali city more resilient against these environmental threats is one of the biggest challenges faced and requires urgent attention. Without proper concepts and innovative solutions towards a sustainable city, a growing number of people in Kigali will face more and more of such negative impacts.
  2. COVID-19 worsened living conditions globally, and in Kigali, residents were challenged by containment, limited eco-friendly/green outdoor spaces for recreational or other activities that promote mental and physical health through relaxation, stress alleviation, support of physical activities, etc.



That is why you are asked to come up with innovative approaches regarding green recovery and green urban infrastructure creating a resilient Kigali, that can be used as a blueprint for more rapidly growing cities in the future.

The central questions therefore are:

  • How can we leverage local resources to create inclusive and green urban public spaces to promote mental and physical wellbeing of Kigalians?
  • How can we improve access to sustainable infrastructure and services, to strengthen urban management and resilience in Kigali’s low-income areas?
  • How can Kigali foster green economic recovery using technology and innovation?
  • How can we futureproof Kigali against natural hazards? Or at least predict them and develop mitigation measures?

Be it green public parks or spaces, improved air quality, future proofing the city against other pandemics and climate shocks or ensure safety from natural hazards such as floods through a disaster recovery and early warning system - The scope of this Challenge is deliberately broad.

Concrete solutions for specific sustainability challenges are sought. More inspiring input can be found in the tab “Important details” as well as “Submission”.

Innovate2030 – SDG11

This Challenge is part of the Innovate2030-SDG11 Innovation Program. The program is jointly initialized by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and its new lab for digital innovations – digilab – in collaboration with the Make-IT Alliance.

Questions or looking for support?

If you want to talk to someone from our team about your approaches, you need more information or questions arise, you are welcome to book a Q&A call with our project manager Nico or write to us anytime via the chat on this platform to your right.


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