Luis Alberto Alonso Pastor, Research Scientist
Silverman Room, 6th Floor, MIT Media Lab, E14 SS-648
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This workshop will be a rapid-fire, high-level exploration of how to model urban interventions that could enable low-carbon (ultimately zero-carbon) cities, using the MIT-Kendall Square district as a case study. We will focus on two questions:
• What would be required for MIT-Kendall Square to achieve zero-carbon in 20 years?
• Can social performance be simultaneously increased to create a model entrepreneurship community?
With cities generating more than 70% of current global CO2 emissions, and with 90% of future population growth occurring in urban areas, it is a societal imperative that cities rapidly transition to a low-carbon future.
To explore key challenges and opportunities related to:
• Current Performance: calculating the environmental and social performance of the district, with an emphasis on CO2 emissions of people who live and work in the district.
• Urban Interventions: modeling the impact of interventions that may dramatically reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
• Renewable Energy: modeling the deployment of non-fossil fuel energy sources from solar to future fusion
• Urban Performance: estimating the resulting impact of proposed solutions on the environmental and social performance of the district.
Typically, each 3-hour session will begin with a 30 to 45-minute lecture plus Q&A. Students will then be given a 2-hour in-class assignment, with results documented on the class website and/or GitHub. To launch the course, we will critique Masdar City, designed by Foster and Partners in 2007-2008, which was to be the world’s first zero-carbon city for life beyond oil, with Anthony Mallows, Architect and former Executive Director of Masdar City.
Students will gain hands-on experience with the collection and analysis of data, basic python scripts, and simulation tools. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate the potential of a range of current and emerging urban interventions in order to establish priorities for bottom-up action by cities and their communities.
This class seeks highly motivated students with a background in data analytics, engineering, architecture, urban planning, public policy, business, and entrepreneurship. Programming experience is useful but not required (small-team assignments may pair, for example, a designer with a programmer).