Crowdsourcing Urban Sensing: Mobile phone for urban data collection
This crowdsoursing urban simulation platform proposes a framework that employs widespread smart phones to compute urban sustainability values. The phone’s acceleration and location data is used to deduce the modes of transportation. Further, combined location and time stamp data attempts to recognize the current activity (e.g., work, home, etc.). Using the vehicle type and location activity, the framework can compute urban sustainability values, such as what amounts of CO2 emission are generated or a measure of how well is the city designed for its inhabitants’ commuting requirements
Urban Potentials: Economic Forces acting on Urban Space
This PhD research focuses on spatial economic forces acting on metropolitan areas. Abstract models are built, optimized and evaluated to understand economic forces and drivers forming the urban space. State of the art optimization techniques are used to not only find optimal solutions of the models, but also to evaluate the stability of the found configurations.
Urban Mutations Platform
UMP – Urban Mutations Platform
An interactive platform for the identification of catalysing mutations in city generation, assembly and development
In this project we develop a comprehensive urban theory, which identifies so-called mutations in a city: alterations in the city’s genetic code, which can be beneficial or harmful, with local or global effect and can drastically affect the city’s development. The user can digitally create a city out of several non-specific structural subunits and then apply mutations, represented by structural and functional city elements that signify an explicit change within an otherwise generic city subunit. Mutations distort the city grid and quantify on the city level parameters such as: the type of disturbances caused; the gravity of each disturbance; the size of the affected area.
The applied method is inspired by life sciences and recognizes the city as a complex, higher organism. It incorporates several steps: Deconstruction: the complex system (city) is cut into smaller pieces, which can be deeply understood. Mutation: alterations are performed within the subunits. Experimentation: the mutated subunits are allowed to interact and the results are recorded. Analysis and Synthesis: Once the effects of single mutations are understood, more mutations are allowed to interact each time, until a thorough understanding of the entire system can be reached. The city is finally reconstructed back into its totality.
The resulting interactive installation is meant to bring people of all backgrounds and ages together around the table, towards a better understanding of the urban systems they inhabit.
- Edyta Augustynowicz, Stefanie Sixt, and Sofia Georgakopoulou, ‘Attractive City – an Interactive City Generator’, in Future cities: 28th Conference on Education in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe (Zurich: Gerhard Schmitt, Ludger Hovestadt, Luc Van Gool, 2010), pp. 379-87.
- Sofia Georgakopoulou, Daniel Zünd, Gerhard Schmitt ‘The city biosphere: A novel theoretical and experimental methodology for the identification of catalysing mutations in city generation, assembly and development’, in Computation and performance, 31st Conference on Education in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe Conference (Delft, NL, 2013), in press.
SUA – Climate KIC
The city of tomorrow has to use fewer resources and to provide better living qualities. Therefore SMART URBAN ADAPT helps European cities with next-generation decision tools to design development paths for the 1-ton-CO2-society.
Current climate mitigation scenarios for sustainable urban environments are mainly defined by fixed key performance indicators. Associated action plans are likely to fail due to interactions of systems, legal regulations and economic mechanisms in the real world environment. This calls for a more integrated surveying of climate critical urban systems and adjustable adaptation mechanisms to create feasible urban development paths for climate change mitigation. Hence, this project aims to develop a scenario based evaluation platform for the generation of accredited urban development paths and resilience benchmarks for municipalities (figure below). Previously separated urban subsystem models will be integrated into large GIS data warehouses and combined emerging urban climate data sensing techniques. This platform will be leveraged by novel and interactive decision support tools for the cross-sectoral, multi-scale planning, management and operation of existing cities. The modular platform will be commercially exploited in terms of (a) consultancy businesses and sustainability rule databases developed by spin-off companies, (b) middleware services, (c) key technologies (cloud based GIS data warehouse, cloud computing and sensing) and (d) modular interactive next generation software applications for urban planning, real estate investment, and community education.
The members of the iA research team are highly motivated and at various stages of their scientific career. PostDocs, doctoral students and research assistants are committed to their research work for national research projects conducted by organizations such as the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI) and mandates from the industry. Internationally, the Chair of Information Architecture is involved in EU research projects and works closely with partner universities from all over the world. Publications appear regularly, leading to participation in international conferences to share knowledge and insights way beyond Switzerland’s borders.
SUPat – NFP65
Sustainable Urban Patterns – A project within the scope of the National Research Programme NRP 65 “New Urban Quality”
Traditional planning methods for urban systems reach their limits, as continuous interactions among people and socio-economic and ecological variables generate increasingly complex and unsustainable environments, which impact human health, well-being and ecological quality. Our goal is therefore to generate exemplary sustainable urban patterns on regional and local scale for selected case study areas in the Limmattal close to Zurich. This requires developing new approaches clarifying design tasks through an iteration of thorough spatial, infrastructural and socioeconomic readings, conceptual interpretations and their testing – guided by design, supported by simulation and collaborative modelling.
The overall goal of the NRP 65 project “SUPat – Sustainable Urban Patterns” is to establish a collaborative modelling platform, which bundles the diverse capabilities and methods of designers, planners, scientists and simulation tools, such as advanced economic and transport modelling tools, ecological process models, and social analyses, to derive at convincing sustainable urban patterns. Overall the collaborative modelling platform will accelerate knowledge exchange between relevant actors and serve as an operative tool to assess the conditions under which specific urban qualities have a good chance to achieve their environmental, social and economic goals.
KTI – Visual Manager
In this research project, which will last 18 months, we will develop a framework and a related Multi-Touch-Software for the visual management of risks and strategies. The applied research project is done jointly with our industry partner vasp datatecture GmbH (www.vasp.ch). Their consultants and visualization experts develop the methodologies and logical designs and prototypes. Based on this input, the software developers at ETH will elaborate a generic framework and a multi-touch-application. On top of that the researchers will envision and implement new forms of gesture based human computer interaction and a practical way for writing text without an external keyboard. Furthermore, an iPhone application will allow accessing the data for example from home or the bus, manipulating and processing the data of the application. This new visual management approach will lead to a new form of discussion, a reduction of complexity, more clarity and consistency, a higher involvement and motivation of people and thus leverage efficiency.
The project can become a landmark for a paradigm shift towards a visual management.
KTI – City planning tool
Computer-assisted Interactive Planning of Energy- and CO2-Efficient Cities
This Project is a collaboration between the ETH Zurich and Esri Procedural AG. The goal is to develop a software system that can help urban planners and designer to design more energy efficient and less CO2 consuming cities.
The Zurich based company Procedural AG develops and distributes the 3D Software “CityEngine”, which uses a new approach for modeling 3D urban environments very efficiently. Real-world data and simulated scenarios can be integrated into new urban scenarios or be used for the digital apparent reconstruction of existing cities.
Compared to present technological standards the quality to create a more sustainable city plan will be drastically enhanced. Furthermore, predictions on apparent energy consumptions and CO2 emissions are more easily accessible along with the creation of optimized design alternatives.
COLLABORATION IN SPACE
We are implementing a research lab – the Value Lab, a new collaboration environment for virtual design and planning of architecture. It combines the use of complimentary views on high resolution computer displays with direct multi-touch content manipulation creating a streamlined working pipeline for the evaluation of design. The Value Lab Space currently consists of five large scale, high-resolution lcd-panels and two high-resolution projectors. Three lc-displays are wall mounted in a 1×3 layout interactive display wall and two are realized as one large interactive display table. Both the display row and the interactive table are equipped with multi-touch technology. The Value Lab will be operational with the estimated opening of the HIT building in September 2008. Further information www.valuelab.ethz.ch