FWD TALKS: The Senseable City

In recent years,  distributed digital technologies are becoming an integral part of the built environment. This new condition provides cities with unparalleled opportunities, allowing individuals to monitor the urban environment and make smarter decision as they move around, consume, and interact with the urban environment. We can view this as a new type of human-computer-city interface, through which individuals and organizations can create and connect with new urban services, and which opens multiple avenues for innovation to make its way into our cities. This talk will present a view at the role of distributed technologies in making mew connections between people and the built environment as way to address some of today’s more pressing urban challenges.

Assaf Biderman teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,  where he is the associate director of the SENSEable City Laboratory,  a research group that explores the “real-time city” by studying the increasing deployment of sensors and networked hand-held electronics,  as well as their relationship to the built environment. At the 2006 Venice Biennale, the group revealed the world's first city-scale dynamic maps, describing the movement of pedestrians, busses and taxis in real-time. In preparation for the 2009 U.N. Summit on Climate change in Copenhagen, the lab developed a hybrid bicycle wheel, which captures the energy of braking to give riders an extra push. Biderman’s work focusses on engaging city administrations and industry members worldwide to explore how pressing issues in urbanisation are being impacted by a wave of new distributed technologies,  and how these can be harnessed to create a more sustainable future living in urban environments.

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