The rapid evolution of information technologies to the point where most active citizens are able to access global information using personal devices is changing the city out of all recognition. This lecture will outline the ways in which such technologies are generating a new functioning of the city which we call ‘urban informatics’, and we will explore the implications of these developments for our understanding of the city and its design.
Cities are now functioning over short periods using many kinds of sensor which are yielding vast volumes of data – big data – that is being used to control and manage many city functions in new and novel ways that are yielding more efficient and less costly ways organising economic and social activities. We term this focus on real time streaming of big data as the ‘high frequency city’ in contrast to previous examples of city planning that are much slower, lower frequency that is, dealing with change over much longer time periods. Urban informatics is not restricted to dealing simply with the high frequency city but this is our starting point although in time, both high and low frequency perspectives will define how we approach the management, control and design of future cities.
After this context has been established, the lecture will select a variety of examples, many related to movement systems in cities that are being automated. We will identify the kinds of problems that can be informed by the new forms of analytics that are part of and parcel of smart city technologies, and speculate on how urban informatics will develop in the next 25 years.
Dr. Michael Batty, University College London
Geospatial Data Science Distinguished Speaker Series