CITIES’ research focuses on the interactions between two or more of the following urban layers: (i) the physical layer, which includes physical infrastructure, instrumentation, and networks of devices; (ii) the digital layer, which includes data produced by human, devices, and sensors; and (iii) the social layer, which includes humans, their interactions, and the social networks that transpire.
CITIES’ main goal is to promote cutting-edge research that leads to tangible improvements for sustainable, resilient, and equitable cities. Research in CITIES is organized around four research clusters:
- The Digital-Physical Nexus leverages and develops digital technologies geared towards the efficient operation of urban systems, including the instrumentation of large areas to enable data-driven insights. (PI: Azza Abouzied)
- The Physical-Social Nexus takes a human-in-the-loop approach to address current and future physical infrastructure needs with an emphasis on long-term sustainability. (PI: Saif Jabari)
- The Social-Digital Nexus studies the mechanisms by which digital networks influence social change and applies this understanding to induce changes in individual behavior that lead to collective improvements in the quality of life in urban spaces. (PI: Kinga Makovi)
- The Intra-Inter-City Nexus explores interconnections between multiple networks within and across cities, to better guide the evolution of a highly connected world. (PI: Monica Menendez)
Such interactions shape not only the urban systems within a city but also across cities. This framework allows CITIES to study dynamically evolving urban phenomena using a variety of disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical lenses while adopting a holistic perspective. CITIES aims to understand how urban systems evolve, and to develop the right strategies to guide such evolution towards a more sustainable future.