BOLD Cities researchers came together in October of last year to collectively design two new research projects. In a day-long pressure cooker of ideas, knowledge and approaches, colleagues from our three universities proposed two interdisciplinary themes that directly speak to the mission of BOLD Cities.
The project Urban Dialogues is focused on the outcomes and impact of citizen science in the BOLD Cities region. The team will involve a number of citizen science platforms (such as Rotterdam Stadslab or Zuivere Lucht Den Haag) to analyse how their outcomes about environmental quality can be spread, scaled and made more actionable. Methodologically, the project combines ethnographic research, quantitative data analysis, and the design of new computational techniques and applications, including Natural Language Processing. Dr. Alexander Los (EUR) who coordinates the project says: “The team is excited about this unique opportunity to collaborate not only across disciplines but also across universities. Even though we discovered that we had many shared concerns and interests around smart cities, we might have never met each other if the Centre hadn't created the space to do so.” Apart from Alexander, whose expertise is in the urban environment, the team consists of Rodrigo Ochigame (a digital anthropologist from Leiden University), Catharine Oertel and Pradeep K. Murukannaiah (both from Interactive Intelligence, TU Delft).
It is so exciting that BOLD Cities enables us to embrace a variety of perspectives and bring together methodological approaches from different scientific disciplines. There is no other way than the interdisciplinary one to address the complexity of urban issues. - Dr. Achilleas Psyllidis
The project about Urban Digital Twins (3D data-based representations of the city, as are currently developed and used in Rotterdam and The Hague) asks how inclusive these are for the diversity of people, experiences, and politics in the city. The team asserts that a digital representation cannot, by definition, capture the diversity of urban life and experience. They will therefore both consider which data and analytics are absent from current UDT-designs and how more inclusive practices and representations can be designed. The project forms a kick-starter of the ELSA Lab Urban Digital Twins for which BOLD Cities acquired the ELSA Label of the Dutch AI Coalition. Dr. Achilleas Psyllidis (TUD), who coordinates this project says: “It is so exciting that BOLD Cities enables us to embrace a variety of perspectives and bring together methodological approaches from different scientific disciplines. There is no other way than the interdisciplinary one to address the complexity of urban issues.” Apart from Achilleas who is an expert in spatial analysis and data science, the team consists of Roy Bendor (industrial design, TUD), Jess Bier and Thomas Swerts (sociology, EUR), and Carola van Eijk (public administration, LU).