Keynote talks were given by Professor Yongqi Lou, dean of the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University; Zhiqiang Wu, vice president of Tongji University and a member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering; Bin Li, founder and chairman of Weilai Automobile; Ningning Li, senior director of Industrial Design at Xiaomi Ecochain; and Kent Larson, director of the City Science research group at the MIT Media Lab.
The rest of the talks were organized around five key themes: Insight, Transformation, Prediction and Experience, Consensus, and Deploy. Kent Larson introduced the themes in his opening talk and updated the audience on the group's current research and mission to enable dynamic, evolving places that respond to the complexities of life. Larson stated that new strategies must be found to create the places where people live and work, and to ensure that the mobility systems that connect them meet the profound challenges of the future.
Urban designers will make use of powerful new data collection and analytic tools to achieve a fine-grained understanding of human behavior. During the Insight discussions, researchers discussed how data records and access to information about live/work relationships, mobility patterns, community values, and human interaction can allow scientists to create more accurate and user-friendly visualizations to inform the development of proposed interventions. Insight included talks from Ronan Doorley, a post-doctoral associate from the MIT Media Lab; Nan Cao, a professor on the Tongji University Smart Data Viz team; and Marc Pons, the director of the Andorra Innovation Living Lab.
In Transformation, researchers discussed the rapid change that cities will undergo as emerging systems are integrated into the urban fabric and cities replace heavy infrastructure with agile distributed systems for mobility, energy, food, live/work spaces, and urban design. Transformation included talks by Phil Tinn, a PhD researcher in the City Science group; Jörg Noennig, director of City Science Lab Hamburg; Holger Prang, a professor at HCU Hamburg; and Antti Tuomela, CEO of Aalto University Properties.
Experience and Prediction included talks from Jarmo Suominen, a professor at Aalto University and Tongji University; Arnaud Grignard, a research scientist in the City Science group; Xiaohua Sun, dean of the College of Design and Innovation at Tongji University; and Ke Ma Vice, a researcher at City Science Lab Shanghai and Tongji University. They focused on new simulation tools that will predict the impact of proposed interventions on how people interact with their environment, move through the city, consume resources, and exchange ideas. Interactive physical models with AI recommendation engines will enable rapid scenario testing and real-time simulation to allow a broader group of stakeholders to engage in a creative, iterative decision-making process.