Research Areas

My work (together with my Ph.D. and M.Sc. students and colleagues) revolves around three topics (i) developing and applying digital tools as design and decision support systems for supporting public participation and citizen engagement in urban transformation processes, (ii) performing urban (big) data science within people as sensors concept for understanding and predicting citizens’ behavior, opinions and experiences towards urban interventions and (iii) research the impact of digitalization on sustainable urban developments.

Digital Tools for Design and Decision Support Systems

CoHeSIVE – Immersive Virtual Reality Application for Public Space Design

In our research, digital tools such as (immersive) virtual reality, web platforms for serious games, information dashboards, 3D Geoinformation, and sensors are a means to foster inclusive and data-informed urban development, rather than an end goal. Through the creative deployment of digital tools and technologies together with robust quantitative modeling techniques, we increase the interaction between various stakeholders and involve citizens in the decision-making processes to move towards more sustainable urban planning. Such tools and technologies allow data collection and therefore evidence-based decision-making while increasing citizens’ awareness of urgent societal challenges such as climate change and human well-being.

Spatial FWE Nexus Optimization Game (by Maryam Ghodsvali et al.)
Smart Healthy Urban Environments (Course module on Citizen Science)

Urban Data Science for Modeling Citizens’ Behaviors & Experiences

A massive amount of data can be available on a wide range of human activities by a multitude of sensors and devices such as mobile phones, GPS devices, social media platforms, skin conductors, and Virtual Reality. These sensors and devices allow people to track and share their individual measurements such as their perceptions, opinions, and experiences. We perform urban (big) data science within people as sensors concepts for understanding and predicting citizens’ behavior, opinions and experiences towards urban interventions. The results lead to new urban design guidelines that improve the quality of life of citizens and increase the sustainability of urban environments.

Impact of Digitalization on Sustainable Urban Developments

Emerging technologies and smart applications have been influencing the way we live, work and recreate. They also have strong implications on urban development and management in the domains of energy, mobility, housing, etc. We investigate how these emerging technologies and tools support citizen well-being and deliver more sustainable urban services and environments.