2024 Sandbox Competition: Resilience in the Face of Climate Change

Competition Timeline

  • Expressions of Interest due December 15, 2023.  Please e-mail to ensure you are added to the e-mail communications.
  • Project work to be done January 2-April 1, 2024
  • Final Submissions are due at midnight ET on April 1, 2024
  • Two finalist teams in both the student and professional categories will be notified by April 30, 2024
  • Each finalist team will be expected to send one representative to do a final presentation in Philadelphia in July for the Joint ITE International and Mid-Colonial District Annual Meeting and Exhibition. Winners will be announced during the Awards Luncheon.


As communities face the challenges and opportunities of climate change, engineers, planners, and analysts have an opportunity to enhance the resilience of the built environment for all users. Decisions on how public spaces are adapted can impact a community’s ability to cope with and recover from climate hazards, such as floods, heat waves, and wildfires. The proposed sandbox activity includes applying a variety of strategic, programmatic, and tactical activities to improve the resilience of all users in a typical urban (or suburban) neighborhood.

Problem Statement

Climate change poses a serious threat to the well-being and livelihoods of people living in urban (or suburban) areas, as they are exposed to various climate hazards that can damage their infrastructure, disrupt their services, and endanger their health and safety. Current practices of engineering, planning, and analysis may not adequately address the needs and preferences of all users in the face of climate change and may result in maladaptation or increased vulnerability. There is a need for innovative and participatory approaches that can enhance the resilience of urban (or suburban) communities and empower all users to cope with and recover from climate shocks and stresses.

Each team is required to develop a community safety, operations and response plan driven by data analytics. The plans are expected to generally include:

  • Develop responses both for mitigation and prevention.
  • Develop a methodology to mitigate/prevent the top impacts from climate change.
  • Define a suite of improvements, services, and activities to meet specific goals and objectives.
  • Compile the above into a technical memorandum.


  • There are separate professional and student categories.
    • Cities/agencies wishing to enter would do so under the professional category.
    • If you are entering in the student category, each member of your team must be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student.
  • Teams can include an unlimited number of participants; at least one member of the team must be an ITE member.

Evaluation of the Entries/Submissions

  • The top two teams in both the professional and student categories will be invited to present their approach and solutions as part of the Joint ITE International and Mid-Colonial District Annual Meeting and Exhibition in Philadelphia, PA. These teams will take questions from the audience in an open and interactive session. While only registration will be funded for the finalists in the professional and student categories, teams will be allowed to have another teammate present for the final competition to address questions from the judges.
  • Presentation guidelines will be provided to the finalists once shortlisted.
  • A panel of 4-6 judges will be established by ITE.


  • The winning teams will be recognized at the ITE Annual Awards Luncheon in Philadelphia, PA . Press and industry announcements will be issued highlighting the finalists and winners.
  • One paid full Annual Meeting registration will be provided to one representative from each of the two professional teams that are finalists.
  • One paid full Annual Meeting registration and up to $500 in travel expenses will be provided to one representative from each of the two student teams that are finalists.
  • The entries from the two winning teams (professional and student) will be featured in an issue of ITE Journal.
  • Other innovative submissions may also be highlighted in ITE Journal and included on the competition web page.

For questions, contact Kathi Driggs.