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Future Cities


ETH
Enrollment is Closed

About This Course

Understanding a city as a whole, its people, components, functions, scales and dynamics, is crucial for the appropriate design and management of the urban system. While the development of cities in different parts of the world is moving in diverse directions, all estimations show that cities worldwide will change and grow strongly in the coming years. Especially in the tropics over the next 3 decades, it is expected that the number of new urban residents will increase by 3 times the population of Europe today. Yet already now, there is an extreme shortage of designers and urban planners able to understand the functioning of a city as a system, and to plan a sustainable and resilient city. To answer questions like: Which methods can contribute to the sustainable performance of a city, and how can we teach this to the next generations, the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore has produced over the last 3 years many necessary research results. “Future Cities” aims to bring these latest results to the places where they are needed most.

The only way to better understand the city is by going beyond the physical appearance and by focusing on different representations, properties and impact factors of the urban system. For that reason, in this course we will explore the city as the most complex human-made “organism” with a metabolism that can be modeled in terms of stocks and flows. We will open a holistic view on existing and new cities, with a focus on Asia. Data-driven approaches for the development of the future city will be studied, based on crowdsourcing and sensing. At first, we will give an overview of the components and dynamics of the future cities, and we will show the importance of information and information architecture for the cities of the future. The course will cover the origins, state-of-the-art and applications of information architecture and simulation. “Future Cities” will provide the basis to understand, shape, plan, design, build, manage and continually adapt a city. You will learn to see the consequences of citizen science and the merging of Architecture and information space. You will be up-to-date on the latest research and development on how to better understand, create and manage the future cities for a more resilient urban world.

Prerequisites

There are no prerequisites for attending this course.

Course Staff

Gerhard Schmitt

Gerhard Schmitt

Professor of Information Architecture, ETH Zurich

Gerhard Schmitt is Professor of Information Architecture at ETH Zurich, leader of the ETH Future Cities Laboratory Simulation Platform, Founding Director of the Singapore-ETH Centre in Singapore, and ETH Zurich Senior Vice President for ETH Global. His research focuses on urban simulation, Smart Cities and linking Big Data with Urban Design. From 1998-2008 he served as Vice President for Planning and Logistics and Member of the Board of ETH Zurich. He directed the development of ETH’s strategy and planning in cooperation with the 16 scientific departments. From 1984 to 1988 he conducted CAAD research and teaching at Carnegie Mellon University. He was Visiting Professor at Harvard GSD, at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the Technical University of Denmark and at the Technical University of Delft. From 2004-2007 he chaired the Visiting Committee of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University and initiated ETH Science City.

Dirk Hebel

Dirk Hebel

Professor of Information Architecture, ETH Future Cities Lab

Dirk E. Hebel is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Construction at the Future Cities Laboratory in the Singapore-ETH Centre. Prior to that, he was the founding Scientific Director of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture, Building Construction and City Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Between 2002 and 2009 he taught at the Department of Architecture, ETHZ together with Prof. Dr. Marc Angélil.

Reinhard König

Reinhard König

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, ETH Zurich

Dr. Reinhard Koenig studied architecture and urban planning. He completed his PhD thesis in 2009 at the University of Karlsruhe. Dr. Koenig has worked as a research assistant and appointed Interim Professor at Bauhaus-University Weimar. He heads research projects on the complexity of urban systems and societies, the understanding of cities by means of agent based models and cellular automata as well as the development of evolutionary design methods. Current research interests of Reinhard König are applicability of multi-criteria optimisation techniques for planning problems and correlations of computed measures of spatial configurations with human cognition and usage of space. Together with Estefania Tapias, he teaches the course ‘New Methods in Urban Analysis and Simulation’ where ETH students learn how to analyze and generate spatial urban configurations with advanced computational methods.

Bernhard Klein

Bernhard Klein

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, ETH Zurich

Bernhard Klein received his diploma degree in Computer Science from the Technical University of Munich and a doctoral degree at the University of Vienna in Economic and Social Sciences. He joined the Distributed and Multimedia Systems research group at the University of Vienna as lecturer and transferred later to the University of Deusto in Spain. As project manager and senior researcher he participated in several European projects in the area of smart cities and smart homes. Since February 2014 he moved to the Singapore ETH centre where he works now as postdoctoral researcher on extensions for the Value Lab to support interactive urban modelling, simulation and visualization.

>Marcel Brülisauer

Marcel Brülisauer

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, ETH Zurich

Marcel Bruelisauer is a researcher and PhD candidate at the FCL Low Exergy Module. During and since receiving his MSc in civil engineering from ETH Zurich, he has been active in the field of sustainable construction and building systems on three different continents, his focus ranging from natural building materials to large scale energy and infrastructure projects, combining academic research with engineering design in industry. His current research aims to combine those concepts, technologies and experience and to apply them to cooling systems in the tropics and their better integration for high performance building design.

Estefania Tapias

Estefania Tapias

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, ETH Zurich

Estefania Tapias is a PhD student and a teaching assistant at the Chair of Information Architecture, ETH Zurich. After studying Architecture, she conducted a master on sustainable architecture at Politecnico di Torino. Her doctoral research is focus on a parameterizeddesign-feedback tool that aims to correlate outdoor thermal comfort indices, microclimate data and building geometries on a micro-scale level in order to explore ‘design spaces’ of urban forms in tropical climates (Climate-sensitive urban growth). She is also part of the PhD label program of Climate-KIC; one of three Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) created by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Togetherwith Dr. Reinhard König, she teaches the course ‘New Methods in Urban Analysis and Simulation’ where ETH students learn how to analyse and generate spatial urban configurations with advanced computational methods.

Chen Zhong

Chen Zhong

Postdoctoral Fellow and Lecturer, ETH Zurich

Chen Zhong is a PhD candidate at the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) in Department of Architecture at ETH Zurich. She holds a master degree of Engineering in GIS from LIESMARS and a bachelor degree in spatial information and digital technology at Wuhan University, China. Her research interests are spatial analysis, spatial data mining, spatiotemporal visualization, and impact assessment for land use and transportation planning. Her PhD study is mainly about detecting changing mobility patterns, activity patterns, and urban spatial structures from smart card data.