Sei Takeda

The City Science group uses simulations and visualizations to explain to stakeholders, including citizens, the various "what if" scenarios involved in urban planning. The knowledge and indicators obtained from these simulations are often greatly influenced by the site (neighborhood) and the subject matter. A community that holds various discussions around the simulation with a wide range of possible scenarios is necessary to discuss our environment. At this point, communication between the "experts" who create the simulations and the people who receive them is crucial.

The nature of environmental problems is complex and elusive. Solving these problems requires a cross-scale perspective to break them down into more minor questions and a common language to enable people with different values to empathize with each other. To create this common language, Namaph introduced two mechanisms: a simulation and a consensus-building system. Namaph is an attempt to foster a simulation of plant diversity by a community of biologists, complex systems data scientists, and urban consensus building. For simulation, we applied reaction-diffusion equations to understand ecological diversity, and for consensus building, we used Distributed Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) based on blockchain technology.

■ a little deeper into the simulation

The simulator reflects which aspect of the phenomenon we are dealing with in the consensus-building to discuss. The community should update the simulation accordingly if new plants or concepts arise within the discussion.

This time, we agreed to discuss two aspects of plants in particular. One is that plants expand their habitats by spreading seeds, and the other is that selection and symbiosis occur according to the compatibility with neighboring plants.

The reaction-diffusion equation is a rule that treats these two characteristics as "diffusion" and "reaction," and the current Namaph is calculating the dynamics using this rule.

■ a little deeper into the DAO

We have deployed the DAO on the Solana blockchain, which uses the most basic Multisig[x]. Proposals that reach quorum can be passed and implemented. The Agency for Cultural Affairs has supported the deployment.

This case will focus on carbon credits in particular. Through the mechanism mentioned above, the members will transparently and collectively agree upon the execution of simulations, behavior, and sub-questions, such as the conversion rate of carbon credits and the frequency of bidding for projects. The group that controls both wheels will solve the problem, not the technology. Namaph explores the common ground between nature and the city. We do not wait for the future; instead, we decide.

This project is a collaboration between Kosuke Katano (ex-Labber), a biologist, Sei Takeda, a complex systems data scientist, and Yasushi Sakai, a Media Lab City Science group member.

In addition, this project was awarded the PwC Award at the WIRED COMMON GROUND CHALLENGE held by Wired magazine Japan in June 2022.