UPtown Ecothon’s themes consist of creating an eco-friendly and helping to urbanise the capital, and in order to find solutions for the two categories of problems, we identified a set of indicative actions, such as improving public transportation, city planning, administrating waste and energy.
Through UPtown Ecothon, we want to initiate a challenge for teams consisting of students and professional programmers who will have the opportunity to find and develop innovative, modern, applicable, efficient and durable solutions, this way stimulating their creativity and team spirit, in order to contribute diminishing pollution in urban areas and improving living conditions and infrastructure in Bucharest.
Additionally, we hope that throughout this event, the participant's ideas will be sent to the competent institution that will put them in use, and eventually become aware of the issues we are facing.
Pollution is the contamination of the environment with materials that interfere with human health, quality of life or the natural function of ecosystems (living organisms and the environment in which they live). In August this year, Bucharest City Hall acknowledged in a statement that the city has reached a record level of pollution, ranking 6th among the most polluted capitals in Europe, having problems with the lack of decent public transport, of well-arranged and clean green areas, of garbage disposal and especially air pollution. (They also mentioned that they would try to reduce traffic and emissions along the capital.)
Statistically, it has been shown that all diseases progress at a higher rate if the person lives in a city with a high level of pollution. Thus, an increase in air pollution over a short period of time can increase the symptoms of the pre-existing disease among those at risk. It also causes abnormal cell proliferation in the body and the appearance of atypical cells, which can cause lung cancer or other chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma, cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, chronic bronchitis, as well as premature births and birth defects etc. In 2019, Romania ranked eighth in Europe in the number of deaths due to pollution, per hundred thousand inhabitants, according to a report by the GAHP organization, over 20,000 Romanians die annually due to pollution, especially in big cities. In conclusion, it is important to know that after exposure to pollution, the body's immunity decreases and the risk of respiratory infections increases.
Air pollution is stimulated by several factors, such as:
Compared to other cities, Bucharest is extremely polluted due to multiple causes, such as delayed construction sites that generate cement dust, cars parked on the green space around blocks, which they end up destroy, or plant-less fields which generate much more dust.
Two thirds of pollution in Bucharest is caused by traffic, according to the mayor's office, cars producing nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, which can endanger human health and plant life.
Another considerable source of pollution is represented by industries and services, which the capital's mayor's office found that they are responsible for more than 25% of the city's emissions. (A large portion of this pollution factor comes from the 6 industrial heating installations in the Bucharest area.)
The Bucharest Metropolitan Area is in the process of rapid growth in the form of urban expansion, which leads to the continuous enlargement of the city, in some cases omitting existing problems from planning projects. With the quantitative evolution they will not disappear. but they will only gradually get worse, the pressure becoming bigger and bigger, and the solutions more and more difficult to access. Statistically speaking, Bucharest is in the top of the busiest capitals in Europe, but not in the top in terms of innovation. In order to play our small role, our team thought of making a list of issues that would take a little innovation:
All people from Bucharest are familiar with the hours lost in traffic jams, the need to always leave an absurd margin of delay, congested roads and buses full even in a pandemic. Causes of traffic include parking and disproportionate expansion with infrastructure improvements. European countries have resorted to underground car parks or the release of side spaces to create specially designed car parks. Bucharest being already a city with too few lanes for the number of cars, their occupation becomes an impediment to traffic jams and an area in need of innovation.
We all know how important green spaces are for each one of us, the opportunity to go out in the park, to relax, to do sports and sometimes only with a landscape role, regardless of the attribution, they are a pleasure and a necessity at the same time on the current climate situation. Instead, the green spaces in Bucharest are less than 10 sqm / capita. We are lagging behind in the 2013 target set in accordance with national laws and European regulations, where the amount of green space per capita had to reach 26 square meters. We are just as far from this figure even in 2020, being according to data from 2014 at only 9.86 sqm / capita. The existing green spaces are limited to make way for the constructions and the amount of concrete in Bucharest continues to increase over time, those of the trees and green threads decrease.
When it comes to garbage, the cause of the problem is a combination of "Romanian civic spirit" and a lack of planning and involvement in general. In the current situation, it is difficult to collect the garbage in time from the citizens' bins to clean the vacant lands and most importantly, we are far behind when it comes to cleaning the streets. We are the European capital where bottles flow on boulevards and side streets, where people throw cysts at traffic lights, on the street, in the bus station, contributing to the beautiful cardboard blanket that begins to envelop our city. European standards require us to collect waste separately, and we can barely separate waste from people.
We believe that wherever a change can be made, a change in us, a change in the tools we use, we all aspire to a change around us. Let's make a change in our city!
Innovation and creativity are the stepping stones of what we know now as humanity. They are what brought us to the world we live in now. People have always sought “better”, they have asked questions like: How can we make this easier? How can I make this work better? Have I missed something about this?. We believe that the world needs more of these questions and we`ve made this the mission of our event to raise as many of these questions as possible and reap the results.
These would be the requirements by which we determine if a project is either The most Creative; The most Innovative or The most Useful and Applicable: UTE - Criteria and Requirements(pdf)
Creativity is about unleashing the potential of the mind to conceive new ideas. In a nutshell, when we think of creativity we think of something never seen before.
Innovation is about introducing change into relatively stable systems. When we think of innovation we refer to something that already exists made better in some cases almost entirely different.
Utility & Implementation Award
When we refer to an applicable and useful project we want to see something that can show us pragmatic results, that can be easily implemented by companies or governments, something that people would feel has an impact, big or small, on their lives.
Code of Conduct
Code of Conduct
The organizers of this event, FTC robotics team RoboSapiens, want to encourage the use of the FTC core values and to empower ourselves and others to improve our local community through technology. UPtown Ecothon is committed to providing a safe and welcoming space, without regard to age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, physical appearance, neuro(a)typicality, religion, level of knowledge, level of experience, parental status, marital status, socioeconomic status or background, political affiliation, or any other attribute. The Equity Officers of UPtown Ecothon share the responsibility of enforcing these policies as necessary to maintain an open and welcoming environment.
As the organizers of UPtown Ecothon, we believe that the below principles are essential to maintaining this environment. In addition, we believe that they are good principles for life in general.
Do Not Harass
Harassment is any unwelcome or hostile behavior towards another person for any reason.
Harassment includes, but is not limited to:
Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, level of knowledge, level of experience
Sexual images in public spaces
Deliberate intimidation, stalking or following
Harassing photography or recording
Sustained disruption of talks or other events
Inappropriate physical contact
Unwelcome sexual attention
Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behavior
Conduct need not be intentional to be harassment. UPtown Ecothon will not tolerate such behavior.
Respect the Opinions and Abilities of Others
UPtown Ecothon is designed as a place for people of all different skill levels and approaches to meet and work together toward common goals. As a result, we do not expect that everybody will share the same opinion. However, we do expect that disagreement is done respectfully.
Additionally, we expect that members will educate others respectfully. To this end, do not assume anybody else’s level of expertise or knowledge. Do not belittle a lack of information, or insist on unnecessary precision. We are all learning, so afford others—as well as yourself—room to grow.
Keep Your Team Open
Except for instances where it would significantly impede productivity, there is always room on a UPtown Ecothon project for one more person. Unless doing so would be counter-productive to the goals of the project, anybody who is interested in a project is allowed to join it, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, mental or physical disability, physical appearance, neuro(a)typicality, religion, level of knowledge, level of experience, parental status, marital status, socioeconomic status or background, political affiliation, or any other attribute. Discrimination will be sanctioned accordingly.
Teams are expected to respect and enforce the rules and principles of this event. Any malevolent intention towards other teams or team members, such as sabotage or blackmail, will not be tolerated. While collaboration is encouraged, straight-up plagiarism is not, in which case appropriate actions will be taken.
While this document exists primarily to prevent certain bad behavior, we also believe that our community members should work towards a higher standard. To that end, we strongly encourage the following conduct, though they are considered aspirational rather than necessary.
Build With, Not For
Work to ensure that the community is well-represented in all stages of development. Seek out those who are under-represented, and remove barriers to access. Listen as much—or more—than you speak, and give full consideration to all ideas, even if they seem improbable at first.
Empower, Experiment, and Find a Way for Everybody to Contribute
When more people share their knowledge and skills, they give a project a greater chance to succeed. When somebody shows up with an unusual skill, look for ways to fit them into the team rather than reasons why it wouldn’t work. Experiment with new approaches, and don’t be afraid to try something that might not work.
One of UPtown Ecothon’s main goals is learning and developing skills. One way to achieve this is through collaboration: each team’s work should be transparent. Moreover, teams should collaborate with each other in order to surpass obstacles and share ideas. However, replicating other teams’ designs and concepts without their consent, or without adding your unique contribution, is considered plagiarism and will not be tolerated.
Making a Report
If you are unable to resolve the issue, or are uncomfortable doing so, you should contact a Equity Officers, electronically. Equity Officers agree to keep information shared in association with a Code of Conduct violation private, and may reveal it only with the approval of the affected person(s). You can send an anonymous (or non-anonymous) message through the Contact page, in which case it will be seen by all Equity Officerss. Please be aware that electronic reports may not be seen immediately.
When making a report, the following information is useful, but not required:
Who violated the Code of Conduct?
Where and when did the violation occur?
Who may have witnessed the violation?
+/- Who are you?
Equity Officers agree to treat all violations impartially and will strive to apply this code of conduct consistently. In situations where this may not be possible due to personal or business relationships, Equity Officers shall refer the violation report to another appropriate decision-maker with the approval of the affected person(s).
Equity Officers may take any appropriate action, including expulsion and a ban from future events, to resolve a violation of this code of conduct. In the event of gray areas, precedence will be given to the target of the conduct.