I leverage data, complex systems modeling, and information technology to study, design, and assess, synergies for smarter cities, architecture, and mobility systems. My approach to urban cybernetics is not from a command-and-control perspective but rather from a cooperative one, in which, control emerges as a collective interaction of individual responses to goals of common interest. I contribute to the fields of planning, architecture, engineering, information/computer/social science, and design, in three ways:
- Data-driven urban dynamics modeling: I develop data-driven system dynamics models to understand how human, physical, and information resources move in cities, and how their movements and concentrations affect performance of urban cyber-physical systems.
- Institutional mechanisms for self-regulation: I design and study institutional mechanisms for collective control, and I assess their equilibrium dynamics both analytically and experimentally.
- Connective technologies and novel human-computer interfaces: I design and prototype novel human-computer interfaces, sensing technologies, smart building systems, and embedded/distributed systems that close the loop between information and action in more intuitive ways.
In conclusion, my research aims to build on a comprehensive theory about the design and study of participatory cyber-physical urban systems, based on systems analysis, data science, and hands-on experimental studies. Open questions that motivate me in my next endeavors include: How might we design architecture or urban systems that mediate information, human collaboration, and computation? Can self-governance outperform centralized control in participatory commons and if so, what role does information and institutional design play? Will autonomous sharing increase cruising vehicles more than decreasing parked vehicles and if so, will the new equilibrium improve urban mobility and the environment? What can information about human mobility patterns tell us about how cities operate? How might we educate designers and planners of future intelligent urban systems? I look forward to empirically explore such questions through large-scale participatory experiments. I hope that, learning outcomes from such research may change profoundly how people live, move, and share, in 21st century cities.
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