UrbanMapper

Investigator: Dr Suvodeep Mazumdar

EPSRC Researcher in Residence (£50,000) in collaboration with Connected Places Catapult

UrbanMapper is a highly ambitious project that will establish and develop a strong network between the Connected Places Catapult, industry, universities and research centres. The project will address an increasing gap in the Urban Planning landscape, where traditional techniques of planning and evaluation are constantly challenged with increasing demands, new technologies and higher expectations.

The need to understand the impact of policies and decisions that planners, architects and developers make on aspects most valued by citizens and communities is increasingly urgent, with growing urban populations. The access to new sources of information such as open data, crowdsourcing and new forms of low cost sensing has provided us with an opportunity to explore how the success of urban planning initiatives and interventions can be measured by outcomes (e.g. quality of life, wellbeing) rather than Key Performance Indicator (KPI) measures (e.g. lawn cover, green space). The project will work together with the team at Connected Places Catapult to prototype and test low-cost sensing (IoT, wearables, mobile, crowdsourcing etc.) and data processing solutions to enrich proprietary and open datasets.

Drawing upon user requirements, the project will prototype interactive interfaces and visual analytic solutions to help user communities evaluate the outcomes of urban planning. UrbanMapper will build on and draw expertise from strong existing networks within and across the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University. The outcomes of the project will be showcased in cross-catapult events, workshops and conferences and a data challenge will be organised to engage the public and generate interest among hobbyists and enthusiasts.