The Center for Urban Innovation supports and highlights smart, sustainable solutions to urban challenges and helps to push the edge of Smart City innovation.
Smart Cities capture the attention of popular audiences and specialists alike. The Smart City concept promises access and opportunity while building civic engagement and expanding public participation. The idea promises simultaneously to generate new revenue via new markets and services, to save money through new efficiencies and systems optimization, and to increase cities' resilience in the face of disasters and gradual pressures alike, increasing holistic sustainability. Its advocates argue that smart cities are more efficient, more sustainable, more profitable, and more inclusive.
For example, CUI faculty look towards urban agriculture as a means to mitigate urban heat islands and minimize the negative health effects of urban food deserts---simultaneously confronting the dual challenges posed by climate change and economic inequality. Similarly, CUI faculty look at urban transit through the lens of “hard infrastructure” like streets and light rail, as well as “soft infrastructure” like devices and apps that connect citizens to real-time information about bikes, parkways, and pedestrian-friendly routes. Meanwhile, the Center support research on Smart City topics including sensor deployment testbed projects, civic IoT projects, and a wide variety of efforts to research and design the emerging Smart City.
By incorporating the work of architects, urban planners, policy analysts, historians, sociologists, philosophers, computer scientists, economists, and engineers, the Center for Urban Innovation takes an un-siloed approach to the promise of new technologies to improve and manage the urban condition. This interdisciplinarity allows for a smart research approach to building and maintaining smart, sustainable cities.
Resilient Urban Policies in Practice
Atlanta is one of 10 cities selected to participate in the City Energy Project, a national initiative to create more efficient and resilient cities. A group of Georgia Tech faculty and graduate students are using this unique opportunity to evaluate policy development, implementation, data collection, and assessment of impacts of specific urban sustainability policies using several modeling frameworks including the ForeSEE model.
Local Data Design Lab
The Local Data Design Lab is building new capacities for data literacy with a seed-grant awarded by CUI.
Arguments Against Cell Phone Driver Distraction
As handheld and hands-free calls and texting continue to be a worrying source of danger on the roads, questions remain about best to address these dangers through policy, design, and public outreach. Robert Rosenberger has developed a novel philosophical account of the driving impairment of cellular phone technologies.
Designs for Foraging
Foraging is the activity of collecting fruits and vegetables from sites other than farms or orchards, such as collecting apples from trees in parks or mustard greens from abandoned lots. The Designs for Foraging project aims is to use qualitative and interpretive methods to better understand foraging as a novel mode of civic service provisioning and to develop and assess a variety of speculative systems that use Internet of Things technologies.
Making Legacy Data Available and Accessible for the Smart City
As a limited inquiry into these challenges and opportunities for legacy data, we propose exploring the process of digitizing and making accessible the budget and fiscal reporting data currently available from the City of Atlanta.
MetroLab's mission is to bring together university researchers with city decision makers to research, develop, and deploy “RD&D” technology and analytically-based solutions, and provide the technical assistance critical to addressing the problems facing the services, systems, and infrastructure on which our citizens, cities, and regional economies depend.
Open Data & Open Innovation Policy
In light of the potential benefits of understanding Open Data and Open Innovation, a major question is how each becomes institutionalized within the Smart City. In conjunction with the MAPPD project, research is being conduct to collect, compare, and analyze Open Data and Open Innovation policies, practices, and protocols across the United States.
PARSE: Participatory Approaches to Researching Sensing Environments
The goal of this NSF sponsored research is to advance an empirical and systematic understanding of the design and use of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies for enabling, organizing, and monitoring collective action, particularly in the context of urban communities. Drawing from our expertise in design and social science research, we approach the issues and opportunities of Civic IoT through ethnographic methods together with prototyping, implementation, deployment, and assessment of IoT systems across multiple sites.
Public Design Workshop
Real-Time Transit Control - One Bus Away
OneBusAway makes riding public transit easier by providing good information in usable formats and conduct research to evaluate the impacts. The provision of real-time passenger information has benefited substantially over the past two decades from the increased availability of automated vehicle location data on transit fleets, ubiquitous mobile devices in passengers’ pockets, the third-party developer and open data culture, and substantial data standardization efforts.
Working in Cities: Coworking Spaces, the Maker Movement, and the Rise of Flexible Urban Workspaces
The rise of coworking spaces, maker spaces, and other forms of new workspaces facilitates both high-tech service work and small-scale production. These spaces are often located within urban regeneration areas and are branded as creative and collaborative spaces, aimed at enticing the creative class back to the city and to a new norm of flexible work. Our research is aimed at understanding the policy implications of these spaces for cities and the implications of new forms of work for dynamic regional economies.