Since its announcement last summer, the Array of Things (AoT) urban sensing project has been gradually refining its technology and strategy for its expected pilot launch this spring. For the February edition of Inside the Discovery Cloud, project leaders Charlie Catlett and Douglas Pancoast provided the latest update on the status of AoT, tackling the design, community engagement, computer architecture, and scientific aspects of the project.
All around the world, cities are building new neighborhoods and developments at a scale never before seen in human history. Designing these massive construction projects -- and ensuring that they are energy-efficient and livable for decades to come -- exceeds the limits of the tools architects and urban planners have used in the past. So the CI's Urban Center for Computation and Data, in partnership with architecture firm Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the Clean Energy Trust, and developers McCaffery Interests, are developing a new, more powerful platform for city design, called LakeSim. With the 600-acre Chicago Lakeside Development on the South Side of the city as its test case, UrbanCCD scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory are combining high-performance scientific models with modern urban design tools to produce long-term and high-resolution estimates for critical urban dimensions such as energy, transportation, wastewater, and more.
For the AAAS 2014 session, “A New Era for Urban Research: Open Data and Big Computation,” CI Senior Fellow and Urban Center for Computation and Data director Charlie Catlett assembled an “all-star cast” of social scientists, computer scientists, and representatives from government and industry to illustrate these new partnerships. The urgency driving the presentations and discussions was the rapidly growing urbanization around the world, particularly in China, where they will need to build the equivalent of one New York City every year to house its growing urban population, Catlett said. In the face of these imposing statistics, speakers demonstrated exciting new work going on in Chicago, New York, Beijing, and Boston.
On November 20th, representatives of those fields gathered onstage for Chicago: City of Big Data, a UChicago Discovery Series panel discussion of research and educational efforts focused on transforming cities through data and computation. In a vibrant 90-minute conversation moderated by Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD), the panelists described work underway at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory and outlined their visions for the future of data-driven urban design and governance.