Implementing City Knowledge

Presenters: Fabio Carrera (DUSP PhD ’04) and Stephen Guerin

The speakers will demonstrate  recent implementations of  “City Knowledge” ideas from Dr. Carrera’s 2004 MIT dissertation. Their work extends Steve Guerin’s study of complex adaptive systems and agent-based modeling to apply not only to dynamic urban activities (such as traffic modeling), but also to urban structures.  Each urban element is assigned a software agent that manages the asset’s information and communicates with other agents to remove redundancies and to provide the most up-to-date information about the assets they oversee.  These systems use real-time databases, node.js and HTML5 to synchronize instantly across all devices -- from laptops to tablets to smartphones.  The City Knowledge platform automatically produces individual wiki pages for each asset as well as Map, Form, and Control views for each asset group. Coordination across agents is based primarily on a stigmergic approach to “space” (GIS = Geographic INDEXING Systems).

Carerra and Guerin will present specific City Knowledge applications for managing Restaurant Health inspections, Public Parking and Streetlight maintenance.  They also show how citizens can be an integral part of a full-fledged City Knowledge (CK) system via mobile technologies, such as StreetBump and CitizenPipe. The presentation concludes with some ideas about how CK could change the way municipal processes can respond to and manage urban change.