CFGA: Data-Driven Urban Sustainability: Challenges and Opportunities


Thursday, October 5, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:30pm


CGIS South, S354, 1730 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA

Presentation by Dr. Shan Jiang, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning


 Abstract: Cities are growing at an unprecedented speed: by 2050 the urban population will grow to 6.4 billion, and over 60% of new urban areas will be built (United Nations, 2014). As a result, human beings are facing enormous challenges such as traffic congestion, environmental degradation, increased energy consumption, decreased quality of life, and climate change. Meanwhile, the explosion of urban sensors, mobile phone traces, social media and other windows into urban systems has generated much hype about the advent of a new urban science. However, translating big data into understandings of human activities and their interactions with the complex urban systems presents great obstacles and requires creative and robust interdisciplinary approaches. In this talk, Dr. Shan Jiang will present her research that bridges data science with urban sustainability issues, moving from data to information, knowledge, and action. By applying data-driven approaches (incorporating methods and tools from big data analytics, statistical learning and data mining, network science, spatial analysis, etc.), Dr. Jiang focuses on the interactions among human activities and mobility, the natural and built environment, and the society, with examples from global cities of Beijing, Bogota, Boston, Chicago, and Singapore. She will also discuss challenges and opportunities in the Information Age for responsive policies to plan, design and manage sustainable, equitable, smart and healthy cities.

 Speaker Bio:  Dr. Shan Jiang is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT. Her research interests lie in the fields of Big Data Analytics, Spatial Analysis, Computational Social Science, and the use of Information and Communication Technology in Land Use, Transportation, and Urban Planning. Her research addresses social, economic, and environmental issues and their connections with public policy. She has worked for projects funded by the National Academies of Sciences, the Singapore National Research Foundation, the Portugal Foundation for Science and Technology, the Center for Complex Engineering Systems at KACST and MIT, and consulted for the Chicago Transit Authority, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Cambridge Systematics, among others. She received her Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning, Master in City Planning, and Master of Science in Transportation from MIT, and B.E. in Urban Planning and B.A. in Economics from Peking University.