GetSmarter: Modeling Future Urban Cities

Are you also drooling at the mere thought of online education? Sometimes we at LEENjoy meet so attractive courses, that just can not refuse enrolling to them)

Here is just the next example from GetSmarter.

The Benefits of Modeling Future Urban Cities

According to Kent Larson, urban planning for the future is all about optimization and efficiency. Using data, we can create models that can help us understand why people choose to live where they do, what urban spaces can and should be used for, and even where people choose to spend their money. All of which can lead to smarter, safer, and more sustainable cities.

Today, urban planners are embracing the emergence of open data to better understand current conditions and trends. Transportation planners in particular are building powerful simulation models to predict conditions such as traffic flow and congestion. But most innovation has been focused on optimization and efficiency.
So I will briefly take you through what led to the CityScope platform that we’re currently deploying in many cities around the world.

We started with a data unit, a Lego module, and this was used to build studies of cities with color-coded Lego bricks, where for example, blue was water, green was parks, yellow was retail, black was housing, et cetera.

So this is the CityScope platform, a data-driven, evidence-based platform that allows for the modelling, of various urban planning and system integration scenarios where we can, for example, study the mobility modes, we can look at different land uses in a district, we can model the solar radiation patterns or the wind flow… These are fairly easy simulations because there are commercial tools out there that allow for this.

More interesting, to me, is the visualization where the money’s flowing. We can look at geo-located tweets – so where are young people active? So this is a geo-located twitter feed that can show, for example, the Media Lab being very bright, the computer science lab being very bright, the area with all the restaurants on Third Street being very bright, and other areas of the district not as bright indicating activity.

Now what we’re doing is developing an interactive CityScope that has these elements; optically tagged modules that can be mapped to any database that we care to – land use, construction costs, profiles of occupants, et cetera. We then project heat maps for various visualizations on the table.

We have the radar plot updated in real time, as people make changes to the table; key indicators, showing the innovation, potential; the flows of people and vehicles; and a three-dimensional view showing the resulting zoning envelope.

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