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Projects Overview

The Institute for Future Cities is the University’s centre for research and teaching that integrates and catalyses expertise across sectors and multiple disciplines. The Institute leads a range of projects with partners from public, private and third sectors and assists colleagues across the University in research related to Future Cites, big data and urban analytics.

Current projects include:

Research in Big Data Analytics

Mathematician Professor Des Higham has been awarded a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship to research potential applications for big data generated by social media networks.

His research project develops tools to compare and categorise dynamic networks, identifying social media communities that emerge and disperse and asses which parts of the network play crucial roles in disseminating information.

Professor Higham’s project builds on work he has carried out with Leeds-based digital advertising agency Bloom Media, which has led to measurements of online influence in large-scale Twitter conversations.

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Multiplex Cities

The Institute are working with Strathclyde Statistics colleagues in developing a new data analytic methodology to integrate social, economic, infrastructural and ecological data about cities. The project integrates the data from Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics (SNS) on population, economic activity, health, education, poverty, crime, physical environment and accessibility for Scottish cities into a multiplex network representation. The transformation is carried out via visibility graphs which facilitate further investigation into changing parameters and factors of change.

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Doctoral Research in the Ethics of Big Data

The Institute, in partnership with Capita, is supervising PhD research looking at the ethical implications of collecting, storing and analysing big data in the urban context. Our aim is to better understand the human response to big data use, and the effect this might have in relation to individual privacy, autonomy, and agency. The research will look at the philosophical aspects of the Internet of Things, healthcare sensors and biometrics. A central objective is to create an ethical framework to help governments and businesses protect both citizens and customers from infringements of their privacy.

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Doctoral Research in Resilient Cites

This research will look at the context of urban resilience in a world with rapidly decreasing resources. How can social innovation and new knowledge from areas such as technology development and public policy influence more nuanced approaches to planning? Can we develop multi-disciplinary practice that allows for holistic sustainable systems, allowing communities to thrive driven by new models for enterprise and interrelationship? Outputs will include collaborative projects and action research informed by Rockefeller 100 Resilient Cities, and other such networks and frameworks.

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Clink links to the right to find out more about current projects including:

If you are interested in working with us please contact us.