Big cities, big data

What We're Clicking On – October 3rd, 2018

In our weekly news filter ‘What We’re Clicking On’, we share our thoughts on the most interesting articles relating to the future of cities, buildings and interiors.

This week we came across two initiatives in two different cities to generate more insights from urban data.
During the SuperNova Tech event in Antwerp, a 3D replica of the city of Antwerp was launched by IMEC (a Belgian research and innovation hub) and Dutch TNO. On this ‘digital twin’ of the city, real-time data on several topics can be projected, such as noise pollution, air quality and traffic flow. This allows researchers to measure the impact of new or existing policies and to meet the challenges faced by evolving cities.
Read more about the project on
In NYC, the Open Data for All platform that is valuable for cities, communities and citizens will be filled with updated data annually. By opening up these kinds of platforms, the city hopes public data will be put to use by innovators, startups, technologists and other citizens to create a positive impact on the community. One of the companies that provides data for the platform is NYC’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). Its data could be valuable for example for transportation planners.
Read more about the possibilities of the platform here.

Image Saketh Garuda

Last week, news site Quartz published a highly interesting series of articles: ‘What happens next’, in which urban planners and mental-health experts share their imaginations of the future of cities. Of this series, two articles impressed us most:

In the future, you’ll never have to leave your neighborhood – by Layla McCay, director of the Centre of Urban Design & Mental Health 
In this piece, McCay proposes that instead of focusing on city centers, we should reconfigure the infrastructure of the outskirts of cities. The result could mean the end of such epicenters: a future where we identify as much with our hyper-local neighborhoods as we do with the greater metropolis. McCay refers to developments of megacities in the East. “With their rate of urbanization being higher than the West, we should look at how they approach designing neighborhoods that make their residents happier and healthier rather than more isolated.”
Read McCay’s full article on

We’ll spend less time commuting and more time relaxing in the neighborhoods of the future – by Robin King, director of Knowledge Capture & Collaboration at the WRI Ross Center for sustainable cities:
In this article, King notices that we need to think about how to use both existing and new buildings more efficiently. “Instead of leaving our homes empty for 12 hours a day and then leaving our offices empty for the other 12 hours, we need to retool how spaces are used, around the clock.” King refers to examples of roads and parking lots being converted to recreation space after the workday, and elaborates on how we could do this with buildings as well.
Read King’s full article on:

Image: Quartz