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Urban Informatics 2017

October 20, 2017 at 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Urban Informatics 2017

Co-sponsored by the University of Michigan School of Information

Urban informatics is an interdisciplinary field of research and practice that uses information technology for the analysis, management, planning, design, inhabitation, and usability of cities. It encompasses not only technical skills for technology development and data analysis, but also the exploration of the ethical, legal, and policy questions created by new urban technologies. Urban informatics links several scholarly and professional fields including information science, engineering, urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, environmental planning, and more.

Urban Informatics Ann Arbor is an unconference to connect people working in this emerging field at the University of Michigan and in the Detroit metropolitan region. The event will kick off with an opening session highlighting urban informatics work at Michigan and in the region, with speakers from Data Driven Detroit, the UM Citizen Interaction Design Project, a UM research lab, and the Michigan Data Science Team.

Following this session, the group will collectively create the day’s agenda. Participants are encouraged to bring questions, problems, or projects to share during participatory sessions. These might prepared materials or presentation slides, however should remain flexible and plan to speak for no more than 15 minutes. Session topics of interest include:

  • Mapping and spatial analysis of urban phenomena conducted with desktop or online GIS
  • Citizen interaction design and civic technologies for participation, and knowledge creation
  • Ubiquitous urban information is the use of innovative information technologies to create pervasive computing environments – or the city as a computer
  • Analysis and visualization of urban data from traditional and new sources, including administrative datasets, big data, social media, and others
  • Creation of open data and application programming interfaces to facilitate analysis and unlock public value
  • Modeling to better understand urban systems
  • Implementation discussions encompassing social entrepreneurship, intrepreneurship, design thinking, and collaborative planning and governance
  • Examination of legal and policy issues including privacy, copyright, open licensing and public safety
  • Digital infrastructures which are open and accessible
  • Smart city concepts, examples, and technologies

Registration: Pre-registration is requested at this link

About the Event Format

An unconference follows the principles of “open space,” a group meeting methodology which has been practiced by thousands of groups worldwide. At an unconference, participants provide the session topics and goals, and choose which sessions appeal to them. Sessions can include short presentations, discussions, brainstorming, or other creative activities. Several principles contribute to a successful event. The most important is known as the Law of Two Feet, which means that all participants must take responsibility for what they care about. If during the course of a gathering, any person finds themself in a situation where they are neither learning nor contributing, they must use their two feet and go to some more productive place. In addition, four principles guide how participants navigate an open space:

  • Whoever comes are the right people
  • Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
  • When it starts is the right time
  • When it’s over, it’s over


October 20, 2017
12:00 pm - 5:00 pm