OVERVIEW

We develop simulation systems to predict and quantify the potential impact of disruptive interventions within new and existing cities. We place a special emphasis on augmented reality decision support systems (ARDSS) that facilitate non-expert stakeholder collaboration within complex urban environments. Such systems blend hardware, software, human interface design, cloud computation, and variants of so-called big data. "CityScope" is an open source platform for shared, interactive computation.

Contact the Lead Developer: Ira Winder, Research Scientist

 

CityScope FEATURED in White HOuse Report

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) recently published a report "Technology and the Future of Cities Report to the President"

(read the full blog entry)


RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

We're always busy working with partners to bring our prototypes to reality.

TANGIBLE INTERACTIVE MATRIX (TIM)

TIM is a tangible-interactive rapid prototyping environment for matrices of data.  TIM uses an array of optically tagged Lego objects, computer vision, and 3D projection mapping. Users from any background can collaboratively configure the a table.

Contributors: Ira Winder

Areas with poor walkability are colored red while areas with good walkability are colored green.  An isolated residential area scores poorly (left).  However, the same area augmented with a mix of non-residential use performs better (right). Photo: Ira Winder

Areas with poor walkability are colored red while areas with good walkability are colored green.  An isolated residential area scores poorly (left).  However, the same area augmented with a mix of non-residential use performs better (right). Photo: Ira Winder


Pedestrian Simulation (Singapore)

MIT Media Lab working with Singapore Centre for Liveable Cities are jointly developing a new simulation for pedestrian activity in Singapore. The tool demonstrates a new way for agencies to work together and model the relationship between different urban parameters such as land use, mobility, livability, sustainability, and innovation in real-time.

A bus stop, represented by two red circles, is not within walking distance of nearby amenities (left).  Amenities placed within walking distance of the bus stop increase simulated pedestrian activity and access to ammenities (right). Photo: Ira Winder

A bus stop, represented by two red circles, is not within walking distance of nearby amenities (left).  Amenities placed within walking distance of the bus stop increase simulated pedestrian activity and access to ammenities (right). Photo: Ira Winder


Last Mile Logistics

Working with MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics, we're developing an executive decision support tool for collaborative computation and visualization of delivery service areas for future logistics services. Logistics experts use the platform to present parametric models in a real-time, changeable environment.  Users manipulate tangible objects representing distribution centers and other spatial parameters. (full description)

Delivery service areas that are more expensive to serve are colored red while areas cheaper to serve are colored green.  Areas further away from a collection of distribution centers are more expensive to serve (left).  A strategically located distribution center significantly reduces the cost of serving deliveries in the area (right). Photos: Ira Winder

Delivery service areas that are more expensive to serve are colored red while areas cheaper to serve are colored green.  Areas further away from a collection of distribution centers are more expensive to serve (left).  A strategically located distribution center significantly reduces the cost of serving deliveries in the area (right). Photos: Ira Winder


STRUCTURE OF COLLABORATION


HAMBURG Collaboration

As part of a cooperation between MIT and HCU the first urban model of this kind was built in an interdisciplinary student-workshop using Lego bricks as well as traditional materials. On a surface covering 4 square meters, the model displays parts of Hamburg-Rothenburgsort, currently a prospective urban development.

By placing optically tagged Lego bricks representing different building types on the CityScope, changes to the city are visually revealed in real-time by changing color-codes projected onto the pieces. Thus different variables such as the walkability, access to jobs, housing or open space can easily be estimated. Configurations and data from the Hamburg model are uploaded to our cloud server and viewable from the web.


RIYADH WORKSHOP

We led a workshop in Saudi Arabia, with staff from the Riyadh Development Authority, to test a new version of our CityScope platform.  With only an hour to work, four teams of five professionals competed to develop a redevelopment proposal for a neighborhood near the city center.


CHINA DeploymentS

We are working to deploy AR Decision Support Tools with cloud-based API in Chinese developing cities with in-kind support from iSoftStone.


Boston BRT

The Mobility Futures Collaborative in the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning (DUSP) and the Changing Places group at the MIT Media Lab developed new interactive tools aimed to better communicate the possible impacts of new transit systems. Read the Blog Post.

Contributors: Anson Stewart, Ira Winder, Ariel Noyman, Alley Michel, Phil Tinn, Chris Zegras, Ryan Chin, Barr Foundation. Video by Ariel Noyman.


Andorra tourism Flows

A descriptive visualization of Origin-Destination (OD) Matrices. Matrices are derived from Andorra Telecom call detail record (CDR) data. Individual level behavior simulated with agent-based modeling and Dijkstra's algorithm.

Contributors: Ira WinderNaichun Chen, Yan Leng, Nina Lutz


CITYSCOPE: ANDORRA MODEL

A unique implementation of the CityScope platforms is being developed for the country of Andorra to emphasize tourism, energy, and traffic congestion.


CITYSCOPE: Land Use Transportation Simulator

Adjusting the balance of residential and non-residential land use affects trip generation, road congestion, and parking demand.

Contributors: Ira Winder, Carson Smuts


CITYSCOPE: Playground for Zoning Kendall Square

A student team leverages the CityScope platform in a unique implementation "Playground" that empowers non-expert stakeholders to experiment with form-based zoning.  The platform provides feedback when user input violates certain zoning restrictions coded into law, but does not prohibit such interventions.

Contributors: Ira Winder, Ariel Noyman, Lezhi Li, Wei Lin


CityScope: Real-Time Data Observatory

GIS data is used to create "LEGO-tized," 3-dimensional representations of existing urban areas. The model is augmented with layers of information via projection mapping.

Click through the above images to see various visualizations of Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Contributers: J. Ira Winder, Carson Smuts, Mo Hadhrawi, J.T. White, Estelle Yoon, Suramya Kedia, Sotirios Kotsopoulos, Manos Saratsis


CityScope: Scout

The CityScope "Scout" prototype transforms any tabletop into a canvas for land use planning, and allows rapid prototyping with real-time evaluation. The system strives to create an intuitive experience, as users are less likely to have expert-knowledge of the simulations models we use.

Contributors: J. Ira Winder, Joshua Fabian


CityScope: Reconfigure

The Reconfigure prototype allows users to edit a digital model by moving physical abstractions of building typologies. Movements are automatically detected, scanned, and digitized so as to generate inputs for computational analysis.  3D information is also projected back onto the model to give the user feedback while edits are made.

The "Mark IV" prototype (below) was developed for a short demonstration at the Edinburgh Culture Summit in August 2014.

Contributors: J. Ira Winder, Carson Smuts, Mo Hadhrawi, Grady Sain, Joshua Fabian, Shelby Pefley, Rucha Mehendale