The Project

Cities are complex systems, with emerging qualities which cannot be reduced to static understandings or representations. Dynamic networks of human flows and social interactions are deployed within an evolving infrastructure and architecture that defines the urban morphology. New models and analytical work based on complexity science and network theory can inform our understanding of both what the city is and what it could be. Such studies, rely heavily on the availability of appropriate data at the city level, which has always been a serious problem for urban policy making. Major economic data for measuring the health of the urban economy, like city product, investment, income disparity, and financial status and other data for measuring the living condition of the city, like infrastructure service levels and environment, are increasingly easy to access, especially in Western countries.

The fast-paced metabolism of the contemporary metropolis, though, makes more and more evident the lack of production in real-time knowledge at a fine grain, at the neighborhood scale, or even at level of the metropolitan subject, the mobile citizen. Urban real-time data are increasingly popular, but what is still missing is indicator capacity at all levels of government. Real-time data can be processed to produce knowledge, in order to collect useful information on urban conditions and trends; to analyze this information to improve access to and coverage of basic services and other urban infrastructure; to improve targeting and operational performance of services; and to apply that knowledge in formulating and implementing urban policies and programs.

The ✳UrbanSensing project will bring a new product to the urban design, city planning and urban management market: a platform extracting patterns of use and citizens’ perceptions related or concerning city spaces, through robust analysis of User Generated Content (UGC) shared by the city users and inhabitants over social networks and digital media. The platform will allow to analyze users’ perceptions related to specific geographic areas and understand how population reacts to new urban policies within participatory mechanisms. It also gives insight in the lack of structures offered by institutions and city administrations and propose interventions, also within collaborative frameworks and to discover possible emergent structures and bottom-up initiatives responding to uncovered needs and desires. Next to this it will help to understand how specific user groups use public spaces and for instance, identify locations suitable for design interventions.

The two-year ✳UrbanSensing project involves six European Partners, that all contribute their specific expertise and skills in the fields of the project. The Consortium includes 3 SMEs: Accurat (IT), LUST (NL), sisu labs (ES) and 3 Research Performers (T-Connect (IT), IT4all (FR), Technical University of Kosice (SK). The ✳UrbanSensing project is funded by the European Union, as part of the FP7 Framework Program.

The tools and services provided by Urban Sensing will support the SMEs involved in the consortium in their decision-making processes through a set of personalization of the platform in three main information domains:

  • Urban Policy assessment (Accurat)
  • Communication, Exhibitions, Events assessment (LUST).
  • Public transportation, commuting assessment (sisu labs)

Press contact: Accurat, Gabriele Rossi:

The ✳UrbanSensing project is funded by the European Union,
as part of the FP7 Framework Program.