What makes a city
Researchers at MIT Senseable City Lab, AT&T Labs-Research and IBM Research have analyzed billions of anonymous connections from AT&T cell phone networks across the country—where people were calling from and to.
How did you choose your home?
Information surrounds us. With satellite global positioning technology we can see hot roofs, storm water run-off and where traffic is crawling. But there’s more. There’s a relationship between the health of our waterways and how we travel to work. There’s a connection between the size of our homes and how much energy we use. Intelligent Cities aims to reveal these connections, to make them visible and actionable...because informed people make better decisions.
What do you like best about your neighborhood?
Walking and biking to elementary school used to be common. Now, they're rare. What happened? We started building fewer, bigger schools between neighborhoods. We built new wide roads to reduce congestion on the way to school. We thought schools would be safer away from Main Street, with its sidewalks of commerce and distractions. We can see the consequences now, making connections between those decisions and rising health problems. With better information, can we make our neighborhoods intelligent? We can.
What connects you to your community?
People love to be with people. Fifty years ago people met at the corner diner, local church, or at a neighborhood block party. We still create networks at social clubs, places of worship, and neighborhood potlucks but we have now added virtual communities to that list as over 500 million people are on Facebook. Even as electronic forums gain popularity, real places to gather remain important. How can we begin to visualize and cultivate these networks to make better cities? Connections define community: our physical and virtual networks connect us to each other and the places where we live.
What makes a city a city?
According to AAA, Americans spend on average $8,485 each year on their cars. Seems like a lot of money, doesn't it? And most of that money leaves your local economy. What if you were able to get rid of a car and spend-or invest-that money in your community and city?
Where does your water go?
Where does all the water go when it rains? Simple question, complex answer. We spend billions of dollars to construct ever larger sewer systems. And in a time of increasing droughts across the U.S. we flush more of our stormwater straight out into the ocean instead of capturing it. It turns out that how and where we build plays a key role.
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