Open Cities AI Challenge: Segmenting Buildings for Disaster Resilience Hosted By The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery




As urban populations grow, more people are exposed to the benefits and hazards of city life. One challenge for cities is managing the risk of disasters in a constantly changing built environment. Buildings, roads, and critical infrastructure need to be mapped frequently, accurately, and in enough detail to represent assets important to every community. Knowing where and how assets are vulnerable to damage or disruption by natural hazards is key to disaster risk management (DRM).

The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) is a global partnership that provides knowledge, funding, and technical assistance towards achieving the vision of a world where resilient societies manage and adapt to ever-changing disaster and climate risk, and where the human and economic impact of disasters is reduced. Recognizing the significant potential of machine learning and geospatial technologies for DRM, GFDRR Labs is engaging the expert community through initiatives like this challenge to advance the creation of global public goods for improving disaster resilience.

The goal of this challenge is to accelerate the development of more accurate, relevant, and usable open-source AI models to support mapping for disaster risk management in African cities.

Better performing and responsibly used AI systems can provide more accurate, faster, and lower-cost approaches to assessing risk and protecting lives and property.

There are 2 competition tracks:

  • Semantic Segmentation track: Build models to identify building footprints from aerial imagery across diverse African cities.
  • Responsible AI track: Apply an ethical lens to the design and use of AI systems for DRM. Segmentation track participants must also submit at least once to the Responsible AI track to qualify for the $12,000 in cash prizes.

March 16, 2020, 11:59 p.m. UTC

Submissions close.

Place Prize Amount
1st $6,000
2nd $4,000
3rd $2,000

Semantic Segmentation Track

Evaluated on predicted labels, final rankings displayed on the private leaderboard.

Prize Amount
Prize 1 $1,000
Prize 2 $1,000
Prize 3 $1,000

Responsible AI Track

Evaluated from provided submissions, three winners selected by a panel of judges.

GFDRR employees are not eligible for prizes.

Supported by:

Image courtesy of OpenStreetMap.