WE PROPOSE THAT FUNDAMENTALLY NEW STRATEGIES MUST BE FOUND FOR CREATING THE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE LIVE AND WORK, AND THE MOBILITY SYSTEMS THAT CONNECT THESE PLACES, IN ORDER TO MEET THE PROFOUND CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE.
BUILDING ON CURRENT WORK AT THE MIT MEDIA LAB, CITY SCIENCE RESEARCHERS WILL INITIALLY FOCUS ON THE FOLLOWING PROJECT THEMES. ADDITIONAL PROJECT THEMES WILL BE ADDED IN RESPONSE TO THE PRIORITIES OF CORPORATE MEMBERS, MIT RESEARCHERS, AND THE CITY SCIENCE ADVISORY BOARD. THESE SIX INITIAL THEMES REPRESENT A CROSS SECTION OF THE INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH THAT WILL BE UNDERTAKEN TO ADDRESS THE MAJOR CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH GLOBAL URBANIZATION.
The world is experiencing a period of extreme urbanization. In China alone, 300 million rural inhabitants will move to urban areas over the next 15 years. This will require building an infrastructure equivalent to the one housing the entire population of the United States in a matter of a few decades.
In the future, cities will account for nearly 90% of global population growth, 80% of wealth creation, and 60% of total energy consumption. Developing better strategies for the creation of new cities, is therefore, a global imperative.
Our need to improve our understanding of cities, however, is pressed not only by the social relevance of urban environments, but also by the availability of new strategies for city-scale interventions that are enabled by emerging technologies. Leveraging advances in data analysis, sensor technologies, and urban experiments, City Science will provide new insights into creating a data-driven approach to urban design and planning. To build the cities that the world needs, we need a scientific understanding of cities that considers our built environments and the people who inhabit them. Our future cities will desperately need such understanding.