The places we live: A Virtual Reality Hackathon for Sustainable Urban Development

If I ask “Do you live in a city?” there’s a 54% chance you will say “yes”.

That’s because today, 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas.

That’s expected to increase to 66% by 2050.

Our cities come in all shapes and sizes. Some are densely packed. Others have problems with pollution. Some cities are small (the smallest is Vatican City with an area of 44 hectares (108.7 acres)). Others are sprawling metropolises.

One thing is for sure. No matter what kind of city you live in, chances are that it won’t look the same by 2050. Climate change, population growth and migration are just some of the big challenges that will affect the way our cities develop in the coming decades.

How do we plan and build resilient cities? What makes an ideal sustainable human settlement? How do we connect with our fellow citizens to help them understand the most pressing issues and explore future scenarios and possibilities?

We’ll be exploring these questions in Australia’s first virtual reality hackathon. (Don’t know what virtual reality is? Read this)

Bringing together scientists, urban planners, journalists, filmmakers, and technology and VR experts, this hackathon will create immersive experiences that help citizens connect with the future of their environments.

The winning VR concepts will be showcased at HABITAT III, the UN’s major conference on housing and sustainable urban development.

You will need to be based in Melbourne, Australia to join this hackathon. Applications to participate will open in June, 2016. More details will become available on this page as they are confirmed.


Mark Ziembicki – mark.ziembicki[at]
Michelle Kovacevic – kovamic[at]


Photo: Lars Pels, CC BY-NC 2.0