Fusing cities and technology.


Dr. Arch. Ariel Noyman is an urban scientist. His research is on novel methods of urban modeling and simulation, future mobility, and decentralized decision-making. In recent years, Noyman co-founded a worldwide network of City Science Living-Labs, in Hamburg, Shanghai, Andorra, Helsinki, Guadalajara, and Israel to name a few, in an effort to confront his research with real-world challenges.

Noyman’s work received awards from the European Commission, the OECD, the Chinese and the Israeli Gov., was featured by The Guardian, 60 Minutes, The New York Times and was displayed in exhibitions, conferences and summits worldwide. Today, Noyman is a Research Scientist at the MIT City Science Group, and a lecturer at MIT, Northeastern University, and Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem. Before coming to MIT, Noyman practiced architecture, urban design, and city planning for over a decade in the US and EMEA. Noyman holds a PhD and a Master of Science from MIT, and a Bachelor in Architecture (cum Laude) from Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem.

CityScope: From Smart Cities to Street Knowledge

“You are now about to witness the strength of street knowledge”

Dr. Dre in "Straight Outta Compton", N.W.A, 1988

Current mass-urbanization trends create vast opportunities alongside new challenges to cities worldwide. Immigration, climate change, technological disruptions, inequality, and health concerns, are only some of the questions urban decision-makers are facing today. As these challenges grow, traditional urban processes are rendered insufficient, as they trail behind rapidly expanding cities and technological disruptions.

My work investigates a new urban process, which couples data-driven and evidence-based decision-making, with human-centric and participatory planning. I explore this new urban process through the design, development and deployment of CityScope: an urban modeling, simulation, and decision-making platform. From collaborative allocation of refugee-housing in Germany, through crowd-sourced mapping of public safety in Guadalajara, to mass-transit co-creation in Boston, CityScope helps to build agency amongst the 'have-nots', who traditionally were outcasted from the urban process.

I conducted a series of lab experiments and real-world deployments of CityScope under four major themes: Insight: CityScope as an urban observatory, using real-time spatial data and urban dynamics analytics; Transformation: CityScope as an iterative, collaborative, and real-time Urban Human Computer Interaction system; Prediction: CityScope for urban forecasting and simulation of implicit aspects in the built environment; and Consensus: CityScope for collaborative decision-making with diverse stakeholders and communities.

Finally, I describe how CityScope supported, enhanced, and occasionally replaced traditional urban decision-making, affecting both the urban process as well as its outcomes.

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