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.
Plenario, a new platform for accessing, combining, downloading, and visualizing datasets released by city, county, state, and federal governments, offers a user-friendly and powerful interface to push data-driven urban research beyond spreadsheets and towards deeper insights and solutions. An alpha version of the platform is now available for public use at http://plenar.io.
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.
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.
After a successful first summer when aspiring data scientists from around the world completed innovative data and analytics projects with non-profit and government partners, the Eric & Wendy Schmidt Data Science for Social Good Summer Fellowship will return with a new class of fellows, mentors and project partners in 2014.
Data and computation were on the table earlier this month at a Cities & Data Mining panel hosted by Architectural Record as part of their annual Innovation Conference. Charlie Catlett of the CI's Urban Center for Computation and Data (UrbanCCD) spoke on the panel alongside Anthony Townsend of Instititue for the Future and Susan P. Crawford of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Because the New York City audience was largely made up of architects, the panelists gave a broad overview of what data and computation means for the design of cities in terms of both real-time monitoring and long-term planning.
Will the cities of tomorrow be built on a foundation of data and computation? Among the CI-related events at the 2013 University of Chicago Alumni Weekend was a panel discussing the growing role of data-driven urban policy, featuring Urban Center for Computation and Data director Charlie Catlett, Dean of the Harris School of Public Policy Colm O’Muircheartaigh and Lewis-Sebring Distinguished Service Professor Stephen W. Raudenbush.