Urban Complexity Science
5 May | A talk on finding 'hidden rules' in the dynamics of cities by Asst Prof (Adj) Dr Markus Schläpfer, principal investigator of the Big Data Informed Urban Design research, under the CREATE Monthly Seminar.
Today's rapid urbanisation and the increasing complexity of our cities worldwide call for new science-based approaches in urban planning and design. In this talk, Asst Prof (Adj) Dr Markus Schlaepfer will discuss how the combination of complexity science with big data helps us to reveal 'hidden' regularities in the organisation of cities and how these regularities place important constraints on any theory of urban life. To that end, he will present several examples of his team's ongoing research, covering new scaling laws for the built form of cities, for human interactions and for urban mobility. Finally, the talk will show how these new quantitative insights can be used for the planning and design of more efficient urban infrastructures.
Markus Schlaepfer is principal investigator at the Future Cities Laboratory under the Singapore-ETH Centre, where he leads the research on urban complexity in the Big Data Informed Urban Design project. He also holds an appointment as adjunct assistant professor at NTU, within the School of Computer Science and Engineering, and is visiting researcher at the Santa Fe Institute (USA). He received his PhD in 2010 from ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and conducted postdoctoral fellowships at the Santa Fe Institute and at MIT's Senseable City Lab (USA).
His main research goals are to derive quantitative, predictive models for the organisation of cities and its interplay with urban infrastructure networks. He grounds his research on the increasing availability of large-scale data on human activities and applies methods from complexity science to gain a comprehensive view of urban dynamics.
His work has been featured worldwide, including the New York Times, Nature, The Atlantic, Quartz, MIT Technology Review, and Spiegel Online. In 2015, Markus Schlaepfer and colleagues were awarded with the first prize in the ‘Data for Development’ Challenge' - a prestigious research competition in the field of ‘Big Data’ with over 150 participating universities worldwide.