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Senseable City Lab

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Times Higher Education

Researchers at MIT’s Senseable City Lab have found that academics missed out on forming new connections during Covid-19 lockdowns, hindering academic collaboration, reports Tom Williams for Times Higher Education. “Colleagues associated more with previous collaborators, which could create closed loops of communication, rather than with new potential collaborators, which enables the critical exchange that stimulates research and innovation,” says postdoctoral researcher Daniel Carmody.

The Economist

The Economist spotlights how Prof. Carlo Ratti and researchers from the MIT Senseable City Lab are working on revitalizing neglected spaces in Kosovo’s capital. “We wanted to start something that could continue in the long term: small interventions that, little by little, could become part of the city,” says Ratti.

Financial Times

Writing for the Financial Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti explores how coordination between ride-hailing services can benefit cities by reducing traffic and carbon emissions. “Imagine a world in which, instead of wavering between Uber, Lyft or a regular taxi, we could open a single app that figures out which service is closest and most affordable,” writes Ratti. 

USA Today

Prof. Carlo Ratti speaks with USA Today reporter Marina Pitosky about the latest internet debate: are there more doors or wheels in the world? “I’m more like a door person,” said Ratti. “The number of doors should be taken into account, and not just by looking at what’s in our homes.”

The Boston Globe

Assaf Biderman ‘05, associate director of the MIT SENSEable City Lab, discusses his startup Superpedestrian, a transportation robotics company that has developed electric scooters available in over 60 cities across the world.  “I think we hit the holy grail of micromobility, which is detecting when you’re on the sidewalk every time and stopping or slowing the vehicle,” said Biderman.

Mashable

Favelas 4D, an MIT Senseable City Lab project, uses 3D laser scanning technology to produce digital maps of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to help build infrastructure that benefits local communities. “A digital map can benefit crucial delivery systems like medical supplies and mail, as well as improve waste and water collection for favela residents,” writes Teodosia Dobriyanova for Mashable.

Bloomberg

Prof. Carlo Ratti has proposed a 51-story skyscraper for China’s technology hub of Shenzhen that would produce crops to feed populations of up to 40,000 per year, reports Bloomberg News. “Ratti envisions his farmscraper as a self-contained food supply chain, where the crops can be cultivated, sold and eaten all within the same building.”

CNN

CNN reporter Jacopo Prisco spotlights Prof. Carlo Ratti and architect Italo Rota on their eco-friendly design of Italy’s pavilion at the Dubai Expo 2020. “One thing I do not like about temporary events – like various international exhibitions or the Olympic Games – is that a huge amount of waste ends up in landfills after just a few weeks or months,” says Ratti. “This is why we wanted the Italian Pavilion to address the temporary nature of the Dubai Expo 2020. Most architectural elements are recycled or recyclable, refused or reusable.”

Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientist podcaster Verner Viisainen spotlights how MIT researchers studied vector-based navigation in humans. “What we discovered is actually that we don’t follow the shortest path but actually follow a different kind of optimization criteria which is based on angular deviation,” says Prof. Carlo Ratti.

Mashable

Mashable video producer Jules Suzdaltsev shares that MIT scientists and a team of researchers have successfully created full-scale, self-navigating robotic boats ready to wade through the Amsterdam canals. “The boats use GPS, lidar, cameras and control algorithms to reach their full self-navigating capabilities,” writes Suzdaltsev.

Fast Company

Fast Company reporter Kristin Toussaint spotlights how researchers from CSAIL and the Senseable City Lab have worked with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions on developing a robotic boat now ready to be used in the canals of Amsterdam . “It’s a kind of dynamic infrastructure that can adapt to the needs of a city as they change, and help Amsterdam decongest its street and better use its waterways,” says Toussaint.

Reuters

Reuters reporter Toby Sterling spotlights how MIT researchers have been working with Amsterdam’s Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions to develop a self-driving watercraft for transporting passengers, goods and trash through the canals. “We have a lot of open water available in the canals,” says Stephan van Dijk, Amsterdam’s Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions Innovation Director. “So, we developed a self-driving, autonomous ship to help with logistics in the city and also bringing people around.” 

Los Angeles Times

Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Prof. Carlo Ratti spotlights how the City of Helsinki in Finland hosted an Energy Challenge aimed at solicit ideas to accelerate the city’s transition to green energy. “Helsinki and its Energy Challenge hold lessons for the rest of the world. The first is that climate efforts must balance competition with collaboration,” writes Ratti. The contest “allowed Helsinki to synthesize a diverse array of skills and visions.”

Boston Globe

Boston Globe reporter Aaron Pressman spotlights MIT startup Superpedestrian, a scooter rental service. “Superpedestrian’s scooters, packed with sensors, GPS, and a cellular connection, don’t need to be parked in a dock,” writes Pressman. “Instead, the company scatters them around cities in convenient locations.”

Associated Press

An electric, autonomous boat developed by MIT researchers is being tested in the canals of Amsterdam as part of an effort to ease traffic, reports Aleksandar Furtula and Mike Corder for the AP. The Roboat project is aimed at developing “new ways of navigating the world’s waterways without a human hand at the wheel,” write Furtula and Corder. “The vessels are modular so they can be easily adapted for different purposes, carrying cargo or workers.”