At the 7th World Urban Forum in Medellin, Colombia next month, representatives from cities around the globe will gather to exchange ideas under the theme of “Urban Equity in Development -- Cities for Life.” To help kick off that event, the University of Chicago with the MacArthur Foundation, Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Chicago Sister Cities International, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development organized a pre-session dialogue in downtown Chicago called “The Informed City: Data Driven Approaches to a More Just, Equitable and Sustainable City.” More than 130 representatives from the public, private, philanthropic, academic and civic sectors attended the event, and an additional 350 people watched via live webcast on Tuesday, March 4.
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.
The first Computation Institute Inside The Discovery Cloud event focused on the Culture & Society research area, bringing together Charlie Catlett, director of the Urban Center for Computation and Data, and James Evans, director of the Knowledge Lab. In Catlett's talk, he offers a sneak peek at three ongoing UrbanCCD projects: The LakeSim platform for large-scale urban design, the Data Science for Social Good fellowship, and a partnership with the City of Chicago to create a city-wide network of sensors to collect data and conduct research.