Urban Sensing is a project area investigating the use of digital environmental sensors in urban environments to promote sustainability.

Urban sensing projects are by now a well-established feature of urban design. From smart cities to augmented urban ecologies, numerous projects are now located at the intersection of wireless sensor landscapes with urban processes. This project area focuses on a particular aspect of urban sensing projects, namely those actual and speculative proposals that suggest wireless sensing technologies are a way to achieve more sustainable and efficient cities.

Initiatives in this area propose on one level to make infrastructures more efficient, but on another level citizens with sensing capabilities are a key way in which urban processes may run more efficiently by monitoring their individual consumption activities, transport patterns and energy use. Often, urban citizen-sensing projects extend the concerns of pollution sensing by engaging in forms of monitoring and reporting related to urban processes.These observations may then translate into ground-up contributions to environmental policy for urban areas. But they may also raise new concerns about the distribution of governance in and through digitally managed environments.

This project area analyses the use of sensors in citizen-sensing projects that would make urban processes more environmentally sound. Through fieldwork and practice-based research methods, we will conduct a series of walking-seminar events that will provide opportunities for experimenting with sensors and for engaging with urban environments and process through digital modalities.

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