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Senseable City Lab

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The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Carlo Ratti addresses New York’s congestion pricing plan – an attempt to prevent traffic build up and improve public transportation – and ways Boston can develop a similar and more effective policy. “With congestion pricing, the city and state can combat the climate emergency, the cost of living crisis, and improve quality of life,” says Ratti. “If they don’t take action now, something even worse will come to pass: Boston will find itself outdone by New York.”

Bloomberg

Writing for Bloomberg, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Arianna Salazar-Miranda SM '16, PhD '23 explore the possibility and potential of developing 15-minute cities in America. “If implemented correctly, the 15-minute city can be an agent of freedom: freedom from traffic jams, freedom to live in a healthy environment and freedom to be outside,” they write. “It is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but our research shows that almost every community in America could benefit from a few more well-placed amenities.”

Financial Times

Writing for Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti examines recent attempts to shorten journeys between major cities, such as a hyperloop system that would transport passengers via giant vacuum tubes from London to Paris in about 20 minutes. “Customers clearly prefer a smooth experience to maximum speed,” writes Ratti. “They might also be choosing the Eurostar for having a carbon footprint that is about 95 per cent less than that of aircraft. While the hyperloop might have emitted less per journey than a plane, and perhaps even a high-speed train, its construction would have had a huge environmental cost.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Harvard Prof. Edward L. Glaeser make the case that “the Bay Area needs a lot more housing, and we may need privately built cities to get there.” Ratti and Glaeser note, “building in the Bay Area will enable America to continue its history of allowing people to relocate to more productive places.”

DesignBoom

La Biennale di Venezia’s Board of Directors has named Prof. Carlo Ratti as the curator for the 19th International Architecture Exhibition, reports DesignBoom. “Recognized as one of the leading scholars in urban planning, Ratti has co-authored more than 750 publications,” notes DesignBoom, adding that his, “involvement in curatorial projects spans various countries and prestigious platforms.”

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores the concept of the “15-minute city,” which is aimed at creating walkable neighborhoods. “The 15-minute city must be paired with investment in transport between neighborhoods,” writes Ratti, noting that investment is especially needed in public transportation to ensure that 15-minute cities do not contribute to greater segregation.

USA Today

Prof. Carlo Ratti writes for USA Today about whether San Francisco is caught in a “doom loop,” a term that describes, “the city’s apparently unbreakable spiral of empty offices and unaffordable housing.” Ratti notes that “today’s crisis in the Bay Area could make room for new ideas to take hold faster than in other places. If the city seizes its moment, learning from its venture capital (VC) sector, San Francisco could also seize the future.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, MIT Prof. Carlo Ratti and Harvard Prof. Antoine Picon examine AI and the future of cities, noting that their research has shown “once trained, visual AI is shockingly accurate at predicting property values, crime rates, and even public health outcomes — just by analyzing photos.” They add: “Tireless, penetrating artificial eyes are coming to our streets, promising to show us things we have never seen before. They will be incredible tools to guide us — but only if we keep our own eyes open.”

Financial Times

Prof. Carlo Ratti writes for Financial Times about how new AI algorithms can impact the property market. “To train a real estate bot, our lab at MIT used pictures of 20,000 houses around Boston, as well as data that measured how their prices changed over time,” write Ratti. “When other variables were added — such as structural information and neighbourhood amenities — our algorithm was able to make very accurate predictions of how prices would change over time.”

Times Higher Education

Writing for Times Higher Ed, Prof. Carlo Ratti makes the case that in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on affirmative action, big data and analytics could “help admissions officers quantitatively capture the kinds of disadvantages applicants face and the kinds of diversity they may represent.”

Nikkei Asia

Prof. Carlo Ratti writes for Nikkei Asia about the importance of world expositions. “We do not need expos to showcase products across the world, but we do need them as playful, experimental sandboxes for testing ideas and trialing concepts,” writes Ratti. “Putting the focus on innovation would not require wholesale reinvention, but instead a re-emphasis on an element that has been part of expos since the beginning.”

The Boston Globe

Writing for The Boston Globe, Prof. Carlo Ratti emphasizes that in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic “urban areas need to fundamentally reweave their fabric to thrive in the era of flexible work: That means ending homogeneous zoning, promoting mixed-use developments, converting some offices into housing, and giving more space to arts and culture. We should recognize that the fundamental attraction of urban areas is the pleasure they provide to their residents — and that the affordability of housing needs to be seriously tackled.”

The New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti and Harvard Prof. Edward Glaeser emphasize that in order to, “create a city vibrant enough to compete with the convenience of the internet, we need to end the era of single-use zoning and create mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhoods that bring libraries, offices, movie theaters, grocery stores, schools, parks, restaurants and bars closer together. We must reconfigure the city into an experience worth leaving the house for.”

CNN

Prof. Carlo Ratti speaks with CNN reporter Paula Newton about the future of cities and the potential impact of vacant office spaces. “We need to meet in a physical space,” says Ratti. “Maybe not in the old office tower, but the physical space is very important. It’s the way we sustain and enrich our social networks.”