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Transforming cities through data and computation

What can data analytics and computer models do to make cities better places to live and work? Research and educational efforts at the University of Chicago in Illinois, US, and Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, include working with data and computation to improve the management and construction of cities. Video and preview image courtesy Computation Institute and Chicago Architecture Foundation.

The drive to create smarter cities is not just a local concern it is a global challenge. Computation Institute (CI) director Ian Foster, speaking at Chicago: City of Big Data, notes that half of the Earth's population currently lives in cities – a portion that will rise to 70 percent by the year 2050.

"It’s no exaggeration to say that the health and prosperity of humanity during this next century will depend very much on how effectively we are able to run, design and hopefully improve the cities in which we live," says Foster.

Chicago Lakeside Development is an ambitious example of building a new city infrastructure with data. The 600-acre area on Chicago's south side offers both a computational challenge to architects and planners, and an opportunity to see social science in action.

To learn more about what data analytics and computer models can do to make cities better places to live and work, Read Rob Mitchum’s blog post Data: A foundation for tomorrow.

-Amber Harmon

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