News and Coverage

Schedule: City Tech sessions

Our cities are growing, getting bigger faster than ever before. People are rushing to them in search of economic and social opportunity—jobs, urban living, and access to culture. How can technology help us create livable, prosperous, sustainable cities? What should mass transit look like? How can we infuse urban infrastructure with sustainability? How are cities using citizens’ data to become smarter? What can economics tell us about the way urban populations will change and behave?

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Location: Crystal Room
Michal Migurski (Stamen Design), Shawn Allen (Stamen Design)
Average rating: ***..
(3.83, 6 ratings)
Designers and developers are advancing the state of online mapmaking at a dizzying pace. The introduction of global slippy maps in 2005 represented a new era of interactivity and sophistication in geographic user interfaces. Are we on the cusp of another such leap? Stamen says yes, and shows what new work and new advances are being made to push the envelope still further. Read more.
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Location: Empire Room
Gavin Starks (Open Data Institute)
Average rating: ***..
(3.43, 7 ratings)
As we progress to a post-scarcity society, either you'll measure your consumption or someone else will. More data is becoming accessible than has ever existed. Whether driven by climate change, peak oil, or economic change, sustainability is now a fundamental factor of your business and your life. We'll unpack and map the dramatic changes coming to industry, markets, politics--and you. Read more.
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Location: Valley Room
Mike Kuniavsky (ThingM Corporation)
Average rating: ***..
(3.22, 9 ratings)
Distributed networks create distributed ownership. The identification and wireless networking pieces of ubicomp allow us to turn familiar objects into subscriptions. At a fundamental level, this affects how those objects look, work, and are used, and it changes our understanding of the nature of ownership and utility. What has already become a subscription? What will? Read more.
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Location: Gold Room
Jennifer Magnolfi (Herman Miller)
Average rating: ***..
(3.57, 7 ratings)
The design and production of physical/digital spaces is at the heart of what we call the Programmable Environment. Instead of environments complete and fixed in time, subject to renovation or demolition when their purpose is no longer relevant, the result is a spatial system designed to evolve over time, in interaction with the users who inhabit it. Read more.
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Location: Empire Room
Peter Semmelhack (Bug Labs)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 4 ratings)
The business benefits of open source software are well documented. But can the same or similar benefits also be realized by using open source hardware (OSH)? Peter Semmelhack, founder and CEO of Bug Labs, will address some of these issues, discuss the opportunties and challenges, and provide anecdotes from his experiences at Bug Labs. Read more.
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Location: Empire Room
John Y. Takekawa ( USGS Western Ecological Research Center), Roger Meike (Sun Microsystems, Inc.)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 1 rating)
The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is the largest tidal wetland restoration project on the West Coast. When complete, the project will restore 15,100 acres of industrial salt ponds to a rich mosaic of tidal wetlands and other habitats. Read more.
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Location: Imperial Ballroom
Michael Tchao (Nike Techlab)
Average rating: **...
(2.50, 4 ratings)
The greatest sports athletes' records live and die by their hi-tech gear. They use new swimsuits like the razor to shave seconds off their laps and sensors like the Nike+ to record their training. Michael Tchao of Nike Labs will share with us the process behind these creations and the new materials and technology that make them happen. Read more.
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Location: Gold Room
Nick Bilton (The New York Times R&D Labs)
Average rating: ****.
(4.56, 9 ratings)
We are currently in a time when sharing and social networks are changing the way we consume editorialized media and the definition of "'content" is increasingly blurred. In the R&D Labs at The New York Times we are exploring some of the questions around how we will consume information in the next 2 to 20 years. Read more.
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Location: Valley Room
Elizabeth Goodman (UC Berkeley)
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 4 ratings)
The number of technologies for healthier and more sustainable urban living can seem overwhelming. This talk introduces four frameworks for thinking about technology design for environmental living in cities in general and urban agriculture in particular. Liz will introduce three frameworks researchers and designers have used to design technologies for sustainable living in cities and suburbs Read more.
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Location: Crystal Room
Ashwini Asokan (User Experience Group, Digital Home Group, Intel® Corporation )
Average rating: **...
(2.80, 5 ratings)
Four phrases come to mind while summarizing the last decade of computing: “anywhere and anytime,” “always-on,” “open source and available to all," “social networks that reach beyond geographical borders.” This talk explores the importance of localized experiences with technology, using a variety of examples from India, China, Brazil, and many other countries. Read more.
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Location: Gold Room
Jeremy Faludi (Worldchanging, Stanford, Project Frog)
Average rating: ****.
(4.50, 6 ratings)
Does paper vs. plastic even matter compared to how you got to the store? Everyone today is aware that there are looming environmental problems, and many are looking to create change. This talk derives a list of the industries and areas of our lives that most need change, in order of priority, and suggests what some of these changes should be. Read more.
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Location: Empire Room
David Calkins (Robotics Society of America, et. al.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 5 ratings)
What coming in robots? More than just the butler bot, we can expect to see many robots in all aspects of our life - home, work, hospitals, schools.... Single task robots will permeate our lives, as will telepresence bots giving us the ability to truly bi-locate. Noone can predict the future, but we can get a sneak peak. Read more.
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Location: Imperial Ballroom
Average rating: ***..
(3.93, 15 ratings)
When we look at the world around us we see many examples of places and spaces that we both love and hate. What would you "cut and paste" from different parts of your city to create the ideal sustainable urban environment? Arup has spent a number of years discussing what the eco-city would need to look like if we are going to move towards an Ecological Age. Read more.
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Location: Imperial Ballroom
James Governor (RedMonk), Tom Raftery (RedMonk)
Average rating: ***..
(3.88, 8 ratings)
For too long, power distribution has been a top down, subscribe-only model, but the electricity grids of tomorrow will be read/write, just like the Web. Read more.
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Location: Crystal Room
Aaron Koblin (Gray Area Foundation for the Arts)
Average rating: *****
(5.00, 5 ratings)
Aaron Koblin will discuss the process of turning data into visual expression. As director of technology on Radiohead's latest music video for "House of Cards," he worked with sensor technologies as an alternative to traditional video. Koblin will also discuss his role at Google's Creative Lab in San Francisco, and discuss some of his other data-visualization software. Read more.
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Location: Empire Room
Molly Steenson (Princeton University School of Architecture)
Average rating: ***..
(3.00, 2 ratings)
We typically think of the mobile phone as a device belonging to and used by an individual. Yet in urban India, people share their mobile phones in unique ways, regardless of class and depending on where they are in the city. Read more.
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Location: Gold Room
Tony Jebara (Columbia University & Sense Networks)
Average rating: ***..
(3.83, 6 ratings)
As more of us generate GPS data with our mobile phones, how can this aggregated information give us an unprecedented new understanding of the people, places, and rhythms that make up our cities? Location data combined with learning algorithms lets us cluster different places and people into social categories and tribes. Read more.
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Location: Crystal Room
Eric Paulos (Carnegie Mellon University)
Average rating: ***..
(3.75, 4 ratings)
From communication tool to “networked mobile personal measurement instrument.” Mobile phones as “personal measurement instruments” enable an entirely novel and empowering genre of computing usage called citizen science. Through the use of sensors paired with personal mobile phones, citizens are invited to participate in collecting and sharing measurements of their environment that matter most. Read more.
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Location: Gold Room
Rose White (City University of New York - Graduate Center / NYC Resistor )
Average rating: **...
(2.33, 3 ratings)
A "hacker space" and a "community center" sound like different places, but spaces organized in the last year, like NYC Resistor and HacDC, have merged the two. These are cross-disciplinary, self-organized, adult-education centers, mostly focused on technology, with heavy detours into related sciences and crafts, and they are alive with learning. You could build one in your city, too! Read more.
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Location: Crystal Room
Andrea Vaccari (Senseable City Lab, MIT)
Average rating: **...
(2.00, 2 ratings)
Discover MIT SENSEable City Lab latest research in urban informatics and discuss our projects, from the analysis of social dynamics in urban environments, to the development of prototypes of future interfaces and services for the city and its inhabitants, up to the deployment of urban furniture that crosses the boundaries of architecture to explore the impact of new technologies in urban life. Read more.
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Location: Imperial Ballroom
Mok Oh (Where Inc.)
Average rating: ***..
(3.20, 10 ratings)
Historically, 3D on the Web has always been associated with difficulties. Although 3D has been around for decades, from research labs to gaming to visualization of a 3D earth, there are numerous reasons why 3D is still having majority adoption challenges. Read more.
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Location: Imperial Ballroom
Eric Rodenbeck (Stamen Design)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 6 ratings)
Stamen has been extending its work with interactive mapping and data visualizations past the slippy map metaphor into new territory, allowing you to reach through the pins-on-a-map approach that characterizes most work in this field. By making the entire screen an active interactive surface, we're expanding the possibility of what online urban mapping can do. Read more.
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Location: Gold Room
Average rating: ****.
(4.75, 4 ratings)
The story of how robot cars, no longer science fiction thanks to DARPA contests, will change cities, manufacturing, energy, and of course travel, not just by driving us (saving millions of lives and trillions of dollars) but also by delivering, parking, and refueling themselves to save the electric car and the planet. Read more.
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • IEEE
  • Make magazine
  • Orange Labs