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CityScienceLab@HCU, a cooperation with the MIT Media Lab

Hamburg as a living laboratory for digital urbanization is the object of cooperation between the HafenCity University Hamburg (HCU) and the Changing Places Group of the Media Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Funded by the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the cooperation will set up the CityScienceLab at HCU (CSL@HCU) as a research unit to explore processes of urbanization in the digital age. The lab will work on a wide range of topics related to the concepts of ›digital cities‹ and ›smart cities‹ and will furthermore investigate through experiments how these theoretical ideas can be applied to Hamburg. In order to fulfill this goal the lab will cooperate with scholars from other universities in Hamburg as well as companies and local initiatives in order to develop and test new forms of urban development.

Finding new ways of communication in urban planning and urban design is one of the lab’s predominant themes. During its three-year initial period the CSL@HCU puts its main focus on further developing its first major venture, the CityScope, a scalable 3D-platform that facilitates evidence-based, data-driven processes for urban design and which allows all participants in the process to easily communicate changing or alternative ideas regarding the planned target through visualization and simulation of planning scenarios. For the goal of sustainable urban development, tools like CityScope are a means to develop new approaches to citizens’ participation and decision-making in planning processes.

Besides communication and participation through visualization and simulation, another main research objective of CSL@HCU will be the utilization of big data for urban analysis in order to demonstrate new ways that cities can apply and integrate new technologies.

Many aspects of academic debates around the conceptualization of ›smart cities‹ including, for example, urban technological infrastructures or urban sharing economies will be central to the work at CSL@HCU. At the same time, this new research lab at HCU will take on the crucial task of reflecting on critical concepts for ›digital cities‹ as the basis of urban innovation.

Visitors at the CityScienceLab

Press confrence final event FindingPlaces

with: Anselm Sprandel, Gesa Ziemer, Walter Pelka, Katharina Fegebank
with: Olaf Scholz, Gesa Ziemer

September 2016

Photos: Jost Backhaus

Visit by Cem Özdemir and Katharina Fegebank

July 2016

Photos: Janina Kriszio

Public Opening of FindingPlaces

with Gesa Ziemer, Olaf Scholz, Julia-Niharika Sen, Katharina Fegebank (missing in the picture) Anselm Sprandel, Kent Larson

May 2016

Photo: HCU Hamburg

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Press confrence FindingPlaces

from left: Katharina Fegebank, Gesa Ziemer, Olaf Scholz, Walter Pelka, Kent Larson

May 2016

Photo: HCU Hamburg: Peter Sitt