Future Cities

The Future Cities research centre is a multi-disciplinary centre at Trinity College Dublin, that I used to work at, as a postdoc. Its mission is to conduct holistic research into all aspects of a smart and sustainable city, and not just view a city as a agglomeration of sensors and people. It connects researchers across Trinity, and brings to bear multiple perspectives on the pressing problems of urban living. Typical smart city projects tend to concentrate on leveraging sensors and the much-vaunted Internet of Things, to create technical solutions to human problems. While technology can and should play an important enabling role in a sustainable future, ultimately the citizens must take responsibility for their city. The centre investigate projects that can bring to bear legal policy, urban planning, economic incentives, and educational awareness to nudge citizens towards a healthier and sustainable future.

Active Areas of Research

  • Smart Mobility: Future Cities’ Mobility research strand focuses on addressing the effects of increasing road usage including delay, unpredictable journey times, exessive pollution, and driver frustration as well as to improve road safety.
  • Energy Management: The Future Cities’ Energy research strand focuses on technology development of platforms that enable services for urban energy management. The approaches investigated include forecasting energy demand, improving energy efficiency within the built environment and integrating renewable energy sources into the electrical grid.
  • Pollution: The Future Cities’ Pollution research strand looks at improving methodologies for monitoring levels of urban pollution.
  • Citizen Engagement: This research strands addresses how citizens can be integrated early in the research pipeline, to ensure that practical considerations are taken into account, highlighting potential negative impact on society (e.g., through weakened privacy and security) and effectively to co-design potential futures.
  • Urban-Scale Data: This research strand addresses middleware and communications architectures to allow high volumes of data from public, business-owned and user-contributed sensors to be gathered and exploited by smart cities. This area merges wireless sensor networks, vehicular sensor networks, and participatory sensing.

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