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Sustainable Cities

Cities are the economic and social engines of modern nations. Within cities, technological innovations are typically born; they are the places where the most relevant historical events occur. Though, it is no surprise that people are increasingly moving from the countryside to metropolitan areas, attracted by the opportunities offered by the cities.

Cities are, however, affected by many issues that hinder citizens’ quality of life. As an example, cities are well-known for their level of economic inequality and for the presence of social and ethnic segregation. These phenomena might prevent a large part of cities’ population from accessing opportunities and venues, confining them to the lowest strata of wellness and wealth. 

Infrastructures are cities’ backbone, and due to their relevance, researchers from many areas have devoted a lot of effort to understanding their functioning and the development of monitoring and planning tools. Infrastructures are, indeed, another example of urban criticality. Poor planning and malfunction of public transportation can prevent citizens from having a satisfying life, economic activities to flourish, and in general a city to achieve its full potential.

Sony CSL is committed to providing new tools for the understanding and monitoring of urban environments, focusing on all those aspects that could contribute to make them more sustainable.

The Sustainable Cities research merges methods and frameworks ranging from Machine Learning, Data Science, Statistical Physics and Complex Systems Physics, in a novel and potentially ground-breaking approach.

All the projects realized in this area are gathered under the Whatif-Machine framework: all the tools and studies are designed to allow the general public or decision makers to explore new scenarios in an easy and understandable way.