MIT Study Reveals Future of Urban Living


The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has just revealed more about the studies they have been conducting in their Senseable City Lab.

The project is made to understand and study how cities are made, how people live, work and grow in urban areas. How best to make cities safe, sustainable, and better.

The brains behind the project use a system of information and gathering of data to see how people live in the city – from taking trash to the flow of traffic, and how these things affect a country’s economy and progress, and even how this influences the world in general.

MIT researchers have been studying the data of the Senseable City Lab for over ten years now, and their results are astounding and extremely relevant, like on topics of the flow of traffic and people in major cities in Europe, the waste system and disposal in the United States of America, and the commuting habits of those with cellphones across four continents.

The director of the Senseable City Lab project, Carlo Ratti, stresses the importance of gathering and using data to better understand urban dynamics and how we “can use this to create a city that is really under control of the citizens.”

Ratti is also a professor at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, and he believes that such information from various online sources across the globe is extremely vital in making the world a better place, starting with making cities safer and better for the people living in it.

Ratti, together with a graduate student, Matthew Claudel, from the same Department of Urban Studies and Planning, have just written a book on the topic, titled, “The City of Tomorrow: Sensors, Networks, Hackers, and the Future of Urban Life”. It was published by Yale Press just this week.

The book actually includes surveys on urban planning and living, and talks about topics like energy, architecture, technology, transport, and network, among others.

Ratti says,

“The internet is becoming the internet of things. That really has changed a lot. When we started more than 10 years ago, this [kind of] research was more underground. … It has become much more present on the agenda of many mayors.

The lab has many projects around the world, like the one in Rome, Italy, where telecom companies and the city administration helped the Senseable City Lab to observe people and bus traffic relationship.

Ratti explains that it is all about the human experience and that such data, like the one they got from Rome, can help urban planners, architects, and city administration plan their tunnels, streets, or subways better with the help of data gathered by the Senseable City Lab.

Michael Batty, a professor of planning from the University College of London says that the book is something that everyone should explore, especially for those who are interested in learning about the future.

The Senseable City Lab is, according to Ratti, starting to really look like the City of Tomorrow, where urban planners use such data to make better cities and worlds.

Rob Clark admin staff managing editor

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