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City Labs

City Labs Introduction


Social media and digital traces from sensor such as smart cards and mobile phones have played a key role in providing insights into people's activities, opinions and day-to-day lives. These detailed user-generated information streams offer a unique opportunity for cities to understand and engage their citizens. The research domain of smarter cities aims to monitor disruptive events (e.g., emergencies, Olympics), analyze social behaviour, identify citizens' sentiment and understand their interactions with services. On the other side, cities can use their understanding of the citizen to foster stronger relationships with the diverse communities in their constituencies. This understanding could be applied to mobilize people on important issues such as education, health care, political engagement and community awareness. Also, new digital fabrication tools have been recently used to generate adoptable, dynamic and interactive architecture able to evolve together with urban dwellers, and it has been shown that new Internet-of-Things devices could effectively capture physical observations to understand how cities and urban centers work. As a result, cities now provide a living lab where applied research can be carried out to understand citizen and services with a focus on collaborative, user-centred design and co-creation.

This workshop aims to bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss and explore the research challenges and opportunities in applying the pervasive and social computing paradigm to understand cities. We are seeking multidisciplinary contributions that reveal interesting aspects about urban life and exploit the digital traces to create novel citizen-centric applications that benefit not only citizens, but also urban planners and policy makers. The goal is was to attract researchers from communities ranging for computational science, to social science and urban design.

The workshop received 17 submissions and after peer review process we were able to accept 9 papers for presentation. The accepted papers come from a variety of disciplines covering diverse topics: visualizing urban flows, using social media for policy making and historical preservation, privacy management, online campaigning for NGOs, hyperlocal social interactions among apartment residents, failures and risks of smart technologies, crowdsourcing urban design, and the benefits of city labs.

Program Committee

– Anthony Townsend, New York University

– Charlie Catlett, Argonne National Laboratory

– Colin Ellard, University of Waterloo

– Dani Villatoro, IIIA CSIC

– Ed Manley, University College London

– Enrique Friasmartinez, Telefonica

– Giovanni Quattrone, University College of London

– Jos Luis De Vicente, CCCB

– Josep Perell, University of Barcelona

– Mar Santamaria, Universitat Politcnica de Catalunya

– Marcus Foth, Queensland University of Technology

– Michael Smyth, Edinburgh Napier University

– Mirco Musolesi, University of Birmingham

– Miriam Roure, MIT

– Neal Lathia, University of Cambridge

– Oleg Pachenkov, European University at St. Petersburg

– Olga Subiros, CCCB

– Prodromos Tsiavos, UCL/GFOSS

– Ramon Riberafumaz, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya

– Raz Schwartz, Cornell Tech NYC

– Rosta Farzan, University of Pittsburgh

– Sarah Gallacher, Intel Collaborative Research Institute

– Sascha Haselmayer, Citymart

Acknowledgments. We thank the conference organizers for allowing us to host the workshop, Tomas Diez for accepting to be our guest speaker, and the program committee members for doing a fantastic job.

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