22 concepts/ideas for modernization of Ungheni and Cahul city centers were presented at the Urban Hackathon “Your city changes for You. Together with You” yesterday evening. The participating teams came with various ideas: green corridors with smart lighting, warning digital systems, shared streets concepts, smart parking system, QR codes for historical monuments, integrated plastic collection and recycling systems, e-platforms for decision-making transparency and citizens engagement, smart urban furniture. The event is organized by the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme, financed and strategically guided by the European Union, implemented by UNDP and UNICEF Moldova.

“The EU Focal Regions programme is a transformative agenda for the territories of Ungheni and Cahul that are benefitting from about 23-million-euro investment from the EU. The main objective is to improve the quality of life and standards of living; in a nutshell this programme is placing the citizens at the very centre of its action and events such as this Urban hackathon are indeed an excellent demonstration that engagement of citizens themselves is pivotal to drive the change. The programme is still at very early stages and in spite of this challenging situation I am truly confident that it will prove successful in spurring smart, green and inclusive development”, said Christian Ballarò, Programme Officer from the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova.

The teams presented their ideas to the jury of experts from the United Nations Development Programme, National Association of ICT Companies, experts in information technologies, representatives of the Cahul and Ungheni mayoralties. The jury selected three winning initiatives for each region:

Winners for Cahul:




1st prize: Smart Station team

Smart public transport stations equipped with: solar panels, LED lighting motion sensors, e-panels with route data, urban news, free Wi-Fi, phone charging place, video surveillance; decreasing cars access, forbidden parking on sidewalks, speed limit 30km/h.


2nd prize: Synergy team

Mixed pedestrian boulevard: clearly defined areas for exhibitions, walkways, events; interactive fountain, digital information panels, modern art exhibitions, street smart furniture, open-air reading spaces, games, sports activities.


3rd prize: IT4Cahul team

E-Cahul interactive digital guide: digital application with city map, information on tourist spots, accommodations, restaurants, leisure areas, calendar of events.



Winners for Ungheni:




1st prize: Develop Ungheni team  

Modernization of the Palace of Culture area: installation of smart benches (connected to Wi-Fi, with digital info panels powered by solar energy); building of an alley of prominent personalities; pedestrian lighting fountain; zip line and suspended trails; off-road cycling area.


2nd prize: Ungheni Invest team

Independence Square: a pedestrian, multifunctional area: foldable stage; leisure areas (art, music, workshops, juniors), pedestrian fountain, LED lighting; glass bridge (deck terrace over the railway); U-HUB (conference rooms, start-ups offices, networking, business workshops); smart urban furniture (benches switched to electricity and wi-fi, smart trash bins, multifunctional bikes parking.


3rd prize: Forta Ungheni team

IDA Ungheni: Intelligent, Developed, Attractive: IT Parc Ungheni (smart spaces for IT residents, coworking, IHub for youth, conference rooms); E-Ungheni: on-line communication platform between LPA and citizens;  extension and modernization of the footbridge over the railway; Made in Ungheni: underground shopping center of Independence Square.


Note: the prizes consist of smart gadgets and accessories for the team members.

“I am very glad to see especially young people so committed and involved and I am impressed by all the hard work and dedication during these three days of the Urban Hackathon.  Your valuable ideas for smart modernization of Ungheni and Cahul municipalities will guide local public authorities and us in urban transformation of the region. I want to encourage you to continue to be actively involved in local decision-making process and contribute with new ideas and innovation,” stated Andrea Cuzyova, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova.

This is the first hackathon organized in Ungheni and Cahul municipalities. 22 teams (11 for each region) consisting of young urbanists, IT and smart solutions specialists, architects developed during the 3 days solutions to modernize the city centers of Cahul and Ungheni. The participants were guided by mentors – experts in the following areas: entrepreneurship, information technologies, architecture, urbanism, smart solutions, eco-friendly and sustainable solutions.

All the ideas presented by the 22 teams will be provided to the local modernization groups of the centers of Ungheni and Cahul municipalities for examination, some of them to be included in the Urban Plans of the municipalities. The local groups are formed by representatives of the local LPA, specialists in architecture and urbanism and have the mission to develop a realistic local urban plan, focused towards the needs of the people as result of the consultative processes with the citizens.

The modernization and revitalization of architecture of the urban centers from both regions is one of the complex activities of the EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme. It is organized in a participatory manner with people as ideas generators

The Urban Hackathon “Your city changes for You. Together with You” is organized by EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme, in partnership with the mayoralties of Cahul and Ungheni Municipalities, Tekwill and IHub Chisinau.

“EU4Moldova: Focal Regions” Programme (2019-2024) supports smart, inclusive and sustainable social-economic development in Cahul and Ungheni regions to ensure better standards of living for citizens. The Programme has a total budget of €23 million, is financed by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

For any additional information, please contact: Ina Prisăcaru-Zglavuță, Communications Specialist, EU4Moldova: Focal Regions Programme, Tel: +373 69141006, ina.zglavuta@undp.org  

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