Predicting city traffic and urban dynamics by using car-sharing data

09.08.2018

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“Successful cities reduce inequality”

NEW IDEAS IN COMPLEXITY SCIENCE

On May 24th, 2018, the First External Faculty Meeting of the Hub started with a public conference.

In short talks complexity scientists from all around globe shared their visions on the question “Complexity: Where do we go from here?”

What are the open, the most pressing, the most promising questions to an understanding of complexity and Big Data?

Find the talks of all conference participants (in order of appearance) on our Youtube channel in the playlist of the conference.

An overview with photographs of the event and links to all available slides can be found here.

CARLOS MOLINERO

 “TOO MUCH EMPHASIS ON TECHNOLOGY-BASED SOLUTIONS”

Carlos Molinero, city researcher at the Hub, makes a case for people-oriented political decisions in cities.

Cities increasingly become the “natural” habitat of humans, Carlos begins. But it is not (solely) the physical infrastructure that constitutes a city; it is the interactions between its citizens. Therefor, complexity science is needed to really understand cities.

Up to now, Carlos does not really see true understanding: “I see governments unable of previewing the economic climate,” he says. “I see touristification, that is, depletion of cities from their real meaning. I see a lot of inequality.”

And, he adds, he sees too much techno-fascination. “Almost all the funding money in cities is dedicated to technologies,” he says.

Will those technological solutions generate something good? Carlos is reluctant. “Technologies might give us a small increase in effectivity and of course data to understand.” But in the end what is needed in most of the cities of the world is a cultural change.

“Basically, what all successful cities have in common is that they have mechanisms to reduce inequality,” he points out. In particular, successful cities have a social welfare system, that allows the poor not to become desparate; the have good public transport and infrastructure; and they have ways to control housing prices.

In the debate about cities it is important, Carlos claims, that responsible scientists as well as responsible media, do not only focus on technological issues, but on questions such as these—that is, “on things that really matter.”

 

CLICK FOR CARLOS’ SLIDES.

See the video in full lenght here:

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