Urban design is changing dramatically with the rise of the sensing and tracking technologies. Ubiquitous connectivity within the urban population can be observed and interpreted in real time through aggregate records collected from communication networks. This real-time information can inform urban planners, designers, city officials and others.
The SENSEable City Lab aims to investigate and anticipate the changes brought on by the new technologies on the way we live today, and the implications of these changes at the urban scale. Its work draws on diverse fields such as urban planning, architecture, design, engineering, computer science and social science to capture the multi-disciplinary nature of urban issues. Many of the Lab’s researchers are “transdisciplinary” in that they have a command in various disciplines and are thus able to mediate different goals and perceptions within a given project.
Among the key questions the Lab seeks to address are: 1) how will ubiquitous computing influence the way we design cities? 2) what type of new urban experiences could emerge when people routinely exchange information with the environment around them?
The MIT Senseable City Lab is a research group that explores the “real-time city” by studying the increasing deployment of sensors and networked hand-held electronics, as well as their relationship to the built environment. Its mission is to creatively intervene and investigate the interface between people, technologies and the city. Recent projects include “The Copenhagen Wheel” which debuted at the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference, “Trash_Track” shown at the Architectural League of New York and the Seattle Public Library, “New York Talk Exchange” featured in the MoMA The Museum of Modern Art, and Real Time Rome included in the 2006 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Liang Liu serves as the deputy director for the creative industries for Shanghai and Changzhou, where she supervises the R&D for 3 universities and 600 companies, as well as managing $75 million R&D funding for the next 5 years. There are 5 alliance cities in the program: Shanghai, Changzhou, Jinan, Ma’anshan and Erdos.