Aalto and the MIT Media Lab to collaborate on campus development

17.08.2017

Aalto and the MIT Media Lab will develop a customized, interactive CityScope for scenario-testing and urban planning in Otaniemi.

Aalto University and the MIT Media Lab’s City Science Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will develop a version of the MIT CityScope platform for urban analysis, efficient resource utilization and spatial programming for campus development, using Otaniemi as a testbed. Aalto joins a network of City Science collaborators which includes Tongji University (Shanghai), Taipei Tech (Taiwan), HafenCity University (Hamburg), and ActuaTech (Andorra).

The MIT CityScope is a tangible, augmented reality platform used to visualize complex urban relationships, simulate the impact of multiple urban interventions, and support decision-making in a dynamic, iterative, evidence-based process. During the three-year collaboration period, MIT and Aalto researchers will develop CityScope Aalto by adding new simulation and scenario-testing capabilities for use in the Aalto campus planning process. 

'The project supports the development of a more high-performance, livable Otaniemi, grounded on evidence-based urban planning tools,' said Antti Ahlava, Vice President of Campus Development at Aalto University.

Ahlava added that CityScope Aalto will help identify optimal sites for future construction, evaluate the mix of housing and commercial space, establish plot densities, plan spaces for collaborative work, simulate the impact of new mobility and parking systems, and develop service innovations in the built environment.

'Our collaboration with Aalto University creates an exciting opportunity to extend the CityScope modelling and simulation capabilities, and to test a disruptive new planning process in the context of a complex, large-scale urban development project,' stated Kent Larson, Director of the MIT Media Lab’s City Science Initiative.

Developing tools for creative urbanization in three universities

Launching of the project, called City Science Lab @ Aalto, took place at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts at the end of May.

At the launch occasion, Hashim Sarkis,  Dean of MIT’s School of Architecture & Planning, of which the Media Lab is part, noted 'MIT is actively engaged in developing the area around the campus as an integrated district where innovators can live, work, and play in a compact community and where the communities of the campus and the city can overlap and interact.  The CityScope simulation capabilities provides decision makers with powerful new tools to aid in the process, and we welcome the collaboration with Aalto to deploy this platform as they develop their campus and the surrounding area.'

Managing Director of Aalto University Campus and Real Estate (ACRE) Antti Tuomela, who manages the project at Aalto University, is enthusiastic about CityScope Aalto’s collaborative development possibilities and how it can aid in the evolution of Aalto’s ongoing investment programme.

In addition to the Aalto–MIT collaboration, Tongji University in Shanghai has joined the City Science network to implement the CityScope platform in its campus development. Professor Jarmo Suominen from Aalto University works both in the Otaniemi project and with Tongji University. Suominen says that these three campus development projects can produce comparable and mutually beneficial data and experiences at a global scale.
 

CityScope.jpg

The launch of the City Science Lab @ Aalto. In the picture (left) Eetu Ristaniemi (Aalto), Jarmo Suominen (Aalto), Kent Larson (MIT), Antti Ahlava (Aalto), Hashim Sarkis (MIT), Antti Tuomela (Aalto) and Anssi Joutsiniemi (Aalto). The group is standing in front of  Frank Stella's artwork  ‘Loohooloo’ at the MIT Department of Architecture.

 

More information:

Antti Ahlava, Aalto University, Vice President, Campus Development
Phone +358 50 324 1179, antti.ahlava@aalto.fi

Kent Larson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Principal Investigator
Phone +1617 253 8799, kll@mit.edu