Cities are the crucibles of civilization, generating creativity and connections that advance humankind. But cities also demand resources that threaten the environment, consume an increasing share of local economy to operate effectively, and include the most at-risk groups with respect to social, economic, and educational opportunities. Over the next two decades we will see the world's urban population grow from 50 to 70 percent, representing an additional 3 billion city dwellers. These trends bring urgency to understanding the impact of rapid urban growth and change on the environment, on urban infrastructure, and on city inhabitants.
To better understand how cities function – and more effectively design future urban areas – will require a novel, interdisciplinary science. Social scientists, computer scientists, public health experts, architects, economists, urban planners, and policy makers are uniting to collect richer information, analyze data sources, and develop models aimed at understanding the complex dynamics of cities. New opportunities exist to understand the state of urban social and economic systems and to develop calibrated, validated computational models to explore the potential impact of new policies, investments, interventions, and accelerating expansion of urban built infrastructure. Presenters will discuss efforts underway that use cities such as Chicago, New York, and Beijing as "living laboratories" for data-driven urban research, design and policy.
Philip Enquist, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
Cities, Livability, and Responsibility to the Planet
Steven E. Koonin, New York University Center for Urban Science and Progress
The Promise of Urban Science
Brenna M. Berman, City of Chicago
Science-Driven Sustainability Policies in Chicago
Robert J. Sampson, Harvard University; Daniel O’Brien, Harvard University
Ecometrics in the Age of Big Data: Measuring Urban Social Processes and Inequality
Mario Small, University of Chicago
Poverty and Organizational Density
Eric Chang, Microsoft Research Asia