Meeting at Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona

Posted: October 3rd, 2006 | No Comments »

The Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona builds urban models and tools to develop sustainable cities. They work on setting up urban development strategies based more on information and knowledge and less on consumption of resources (reduction of pollution, noise, private cars). The main aspect of their model is to define and develop the public spaces at a large city scale. Francisco Cardenas presented me their models with a transport simulation system as well as different maps BCN Ecologia generates such as street accessibility to disabled, proximity to green spaces and proximity to schools. He use the Gracia mobility project as an example. The main problem for urban modeling is the lack of real input data. Car traffic is pretty easy to estimate based on sensors (cameras) the city sets on the main city crossroads. When their is not “real” data, rough estimations are made. However, their is a big issue in estimating other kinds of urban mobility. Yuji Yoshimura, architect/computer scientist, presented me one of their prototype based on infrareds for pedestrian counting. To that, I articulated some solutions for mobility detection inspired by my own experiences and on the experiments done in the academia and by MIT Media Lab’s Carlo Ratti.

 Images Proyectos Graciamobi
Traffic in my neighborhood (source: Barcelona Ecologia)

Relation to my thesis: Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona can potentially provide me with many resources for upcoming experiments. I could get access to maps, mobility data and to their multiple knowledge and on-the-field experience (agent-based modeling, sensors design). I can provide my expertise for their work on urban mobility detection in the ICING project.