What is the Urban Living Challenge?

The Urban Challenge is an interuniversity student competition that mobilizes various actors and partners from the academic, community, municipal and business sectors around issues related to sustainable development. The objectives of this partnership between the Desjardins International Institute for Cooperatives of HEC Montréal, McGill’s CIRM and Desjardins Lab‘s Cooperathon, are to bring together students from different universities and disciplines and give them the opportunity to collaborate to develop a project that will help improve the quality of life of Montrealers.

The Urban Living Challenge aims to conceive concrete, creative and regenerative projects that can not only respond to an urban problem, but also contribute to improve the lives of Montrealers by offering an innovative solution to this problem.

How does it works?

The Urban Living Challenge offers the option of creating multidisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students. The members of these teams enrolled in faculties of engineering, administration, arts and sciences will be able to develop a project under the specific theme of mobility in a perspective of sustainable development. This competition will take place in two phases and will take into account the academic calendar and the obligations of the participants.

Learn more about the annual challenge: Mobility in Montreal

Phase 1 : Cooperathon

The first phase of the Urban Living Challenge is part of the Cooperathon produced by Desjardins Lab, a competitive platform that allows the co-creation of innovative projects with high social impact.

This event corresponds to a 25-day course split into five stages allowing, in turn, the training of teams, the analysis and understanding of the prescribed theme, the definition of a problem and finally the development of a solution that should be the subject of an implementation plan. This five-week platform also offers about ten hours of specialized training in the field of entrepreneurship.

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Phase 2: Validity of the concept

The second phase of the Urban Living Challenge will follow the presentation of the Cooperathon. Presented at the winter session, this phase is the final stage of the competition and will allow teams to demonstrate the validity and viability of the concept (development of proof) proposed in Phase 1.

Mentoring, evaluation and incubation of projects

To ensure the smooth running of each of these phases, each team will be sponsored by an MBA student who will primarily guide the thinking and design process. The Montreal Urban Innovation Laboratory (LIUM) will also provide assistance to students by offering them with various open data packages available to the City of Montreal, for example.

In each phase of the Challenge, projects will be evaluated and a jury composed of research professors and partners from different backgrounds (for example: municipal administration, organizations and associations, professional circles) will award them a mark. Only the teams with the highest score will be allowed to proceed to the next stage, with the exception of the last phase, which will crown the winning team(s).

Key dates

For any questions, please contact: defiurbain@hec.ca 

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