Citizen-Activated Adaptive Urban Spaces

The availability of information in the city is creating a new opportunity for adaptive and interactive urban spaces. As Carlo Ratti of MIT's SENSEable City Lab discusses, the key is people.

"The city already contains actuators such as traffic lights, remotely updated street signage, etc. More profound actuation is relatively problematic: for instance, we cannot double the size of a street in real time if we detect traffic congestion. However, unlike other real-time control systems, cities have a special feature: citizens. By receiving real-time information, appropriately visualised and disseminated, citizens themselves can become distributed intelligent actuators, who pursue their individual interests in co-operation and competition with others, and thus become prime actors on the urban scene. Processing urban information captured in real time and making it publicly accessible can enable people to make better decisions about the use of urban resources, mobility and social interaction."

Full Story: Digital Cities: 'Sense-able' urban design

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