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We live in real-time, technologically enhanced cities. Explore the sweeping changes that our cities are undergoing as a result of networks, sensors, and communication technology.


Eligible for

Statement of Accomplishment

Course at a Glance

About the Course

We are part of the 'TechniCity'. The increasing availability of networks, sensors and mobile technologies allows for new approaches to address the challenges that our cities face. The way we understand cities is undergoing sweeping transformation, right along with the analytical tools we use to design our cities and the communication tools we use to engage people. Absorbing, studying and understanding the role of technology from a critical viewpoint allows us to generate creative ideas for improving our cities. 

This course begins by examining how our cities are changing. We then jump into how technology is used to engage with the public to support decision-making and the creative ways that every-day people are using technology to improve their cities.   Students will be examining tools for analyzing the city. Then we move into exploring the fascinating ways that cities are using real-time, technology. You'll hear from technological innovators and thought leaders about all of these topics. You will get to engage around a topic you are most interested in to create a project in your own city.

Course Syllabus

Week One - Foundations of the TechniCity
Understand the foundations of the TechniCity and what it means to be a city planner.

Week Two - 
Infrastructure for the TechniCity
You'll learn how sensors and networks are transforming our cities. 

Week Three - Engaging the 
Through social networking and crowdsourcing platforms you'll learn how to engage in city building.

Week Four - Entrepreneurial Urbanism
You'll explore how open data initiatives, hack-a-thons, and urban prototyping festivals are creatively innovating our cities.

Weeks Five & Six - Analyzing the TechniCity
From sentiment analysis to mashups, you'll experiment with analyzing data.

Week Seven – Leading TechniCities
Explore how cities across the globe are using Technology to advance their future.

Week Eight- The Future of the TechniCity 
You'll engage in peer evaluation of your fellow classmates projects and participate in lively discussion around the future of the TechniCity.

Recommended Background

While there is no specific prerequisite knowledge to take this course, this course is targeted for students at an upper undergraduate or graduate level of education. This course is accessible to non-technical students. The final project will be structured to allow all participants to creatively engage their wide ranging skills, whether they be technical or non-technical.

Suggested Readings

All of the readings you will be using in this course will be provided. Here are a few that provide helpful information on topics we will be covering in this course:     (Click the title of the reading to view) 

Smart City Framework: A Systematic Process for Enabling Smart+Connected Communities
 by Gordon Falconer and Shane Mitchell.

Should Technology Improve Cities, or Should Cities Improve Technology by Rick Robinson.

Micro-Participation: The Role of Microblogging in Planning by Jennifer Evans-Cowley and Greg Griffin.

Course Format

This course is your salon, a gathering of people under the roof of inspiring hosts (your instructors), held partly to amuse each other and partly to refine our collective taste and increase the knowledge of the course participants through conversation. 

We will have lecture videos varying in length of up to 20 minutes. Lecturers will be provided by the instructors. You’ll also hear from thought leaders at MIT, the University of ColoradoUniversity of KentuckyUniversity College London, Tufts, Queensland University of Technology and other universities. Leading practitioners from organizations such as  Bohemian InnovationOpen Technology InstituteMindMixerIBM, Xerox, Cisco, Metroquest, Siemens, and OpenPlans will provide insight into technological change shaping cities.

Participants in this course are encouraged to contribute their ideas, give feedback on others ideas and provide support for good ideas. Your hosts (instructors) will provide rewards for the best ideas and most meaningful contributions.

Students will complete assignments that build towards a final peer reviewed project about technology in your own city or region.


Will I get a statement of accomplishment after completing this class?

Yes. Students who successfully complete the class will receive a statement of accomplishment signed by the instructors.

Other than an Internet connection, what resources will I need for this class?

If you have an up-to-date web browser and a decent internet connection you are ready to be part of the real time city.

What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?

You'll learn how the combination of sensors, networks, and engagement work together to create real-time cities that support more than half of the global population.