Stefan Müller Arisona
02 Sep 2012 to 02 Sep 2012
The Future Cities Laboratory (FCL), located at ETH Zurich’s Singapore-ETH Centre, is a multi-disciplinary and multi-faceted project dedicated to urban research. Along the scale axis, from building to quarter to urban and territorial scale, it comprises of a variety of research modules focusing on specific topics, such as digital fabrication, urban design, or transportation. An additional module, the Simulation Platform stretches across all scales and deals with questions revolving around urban data. Specifically, it researches new methods for better understanding ever growing amounts of urban data, and develops techniques to make this knowledge available to decision makers, urban planners and stakeholders. In contrast to projects with similar objectives, the Simulation Platform has a strong focus on design, and how the findings can be applied to support the design workflows of architects and urban designers.
This work provides insights to the Simulation Platform at various stages and shows how it contributes to the state-of-the art in this growing area of interest: First, we introduce the general organization of individual interconnected research areas, i.e., data acquisition, information modeling, behavior simulation, interactive design, and visualization. We show how these areas are put into operation by concrete research results after roughly two years of research. Examples are the design and implementation of the IT service framework, advances in mobile data acquisition and crowd-sourcing techniques, and different approaches to geospatial data analysis. Based on these examples we present selected case studies in progress, such as the work on Singapore’s Rochor area that studies urban design interventions from various perspectives, or MetroBuzz, an interactive system that can be applied for visualizing and analyzing large amounts of transportation simulation data. Finally, we introduce the Value Lab Asia, which was completed in March 2012 and is equipped with large very-high-resolution displays and multi-touch surfaces. The lab serves as a collaborative, digitally augmented environment where emerging methods are validated and applied.
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