The corporate smart-city rhetoric is based on efficiency, predictability, and security: you’ll get to work on time, there’ll be no queue when you go shopping, and you’ll be safe because of CCTV cameras around you. Although all these things make a city acceptable, they don’t make a city great. The future of the city is, first and foremost, about people, and those people are increasingly networked. Daniele Quercia discusses the launch of Goodcitylife.org—a global group of like-minded people who are passionate about building technologies whose focus is not necessarily to create a smart city but to give a good life to city dwellers. Daniele explains how a creative use of network-generated data can tackle hitherto unanswered research questions, including, can we rethink existing mapping tools (happy maps)? Is it possible to capture smellscapes of entire cities and celebrate good odors (smelly maps)?
Daniele Quercia is currently building the Social Dynamics group at Bell Labs in Cambridge, UK. Daniele’s research focuses on the area of urban informatics and has received best paper awards from Ubicomp 2014 and ICWSM 2015 as well as an honorable mention from ICWSM 2013. Previously, he was a research scientist at Yahoo Labs, a Horizon senior researcher at the University of Cambridge, and a postdoctoral associate at MIT. Daniele has been named one of Fortune magazine’s 2014 data all-stars and has spoken about “happy maps” at TED. He holds a PhD from UC London. His thesis was sponsored by Microsoft Research and was nominated for BCS best British PhD dissertation in computer science.
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