City Lab @ WPI
City Lab is dedicated to the study of cities and to the development of urban information technologies – both soft and hard – to assist municipalities in their maintenance, management and planning activities. The lab focuses on the collection, archival, manipulation and analysis of municipal information that can be used for urban and environmental maintenance, management and planning. The lab assists project teams that complete urban and environmental Interactive Qualifying Projects at WPI Project Centers. Major Qualifying Projects with the Computer Science department foster the creation of web-based urban information systems that are incubated on City Lab servers to facilitate the dissemination and utilization of the accumulated city knowledge resulting from WPI’s interdisciplinary and global studies. Innovative urban technologies are developed, through Major Qualifying Projects in City Lab’s hardware laboratory located in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, to automate the collection of urban information. City Lab also promotes a number of urban initiatives in a variety of service-learning contexts. Current initiatives include: the Hometown Initiative, the E-campus Initiative and the City Sounds Initiative.
You can take a look at a (very large) powerpoint presentation about City Lab, by clicking here (53 Mb).
The main areas of research at City Lab are:
The lab focuses first and foremost on the collection, archival, manipulation and analysis of city knowledge starting from the raw data used for urban maintenance, including the organized information that guides urban management, with the goal of arriving at the deeper knowledge that inspires urban planning. Principles of City Knowledge are applied from the middle-out in emergent fashion throughout the sphere of operation of City Lab.
Sophisticated urban information systems are the natural outlets for the dissemination and utilization of the accumulated city knowledge that results from our numerous urban studies. The primary focus of our work in this context is the development of LOUIS, which stands for Local On-line Urban Information System.
Innovative urban technologies are being developed to automate or at least facilitate data collection activities. Examples of these activities are the Ultrasound Boat Monitoring project, the Turbulence Mapper and the Pothole Mapper, that are aimed at the development of innovative instruments to monitor urban transportation issues worldwide.
A solid foundation of city knowledge is gradually accrued as a byproduct of a never-ending sequence of urban studies that are undertaken under the auspices of City Lab at a number of global sites that are part of the WPI global network, in particular in the cities of Venice, Italy, Boston, Massachusetts and Worcester, Massachusetts.
A number of urban initiatives are promoted by City Lab to further its institutional aims in a variety of service-learning contexts. There are at present three main urban initiatives in progress: the Hometown Initiative, the E-campus Initiative and the City Sounds Initiative.