Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Urban Design With Emotions

17.09.2014

Research project develops unique methods to use emotions in urban planning

Unsafe bike paths, traffic jam stress, frightening underpasses – modern city dwellers face a number of stressors. According to experts, sustainable urban design needs to take into account citizens’ emotional responses to their environment.


Research Project: "Urban Emotions”

Bernd Resch

In the interdisciplinary “Urban Emotions” research project, scientists from the universities in Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern are developing creative methods to capture information about those feelings from user-generated data. The data is intended to show how citizens use their city, where they feel comfortable and what conditions can evolve into problematic situations.

In search of the appropriate toolset, the researchers are testing the possibilities of the “People as Sensors” concept, which automatically measures emotions and stress levels. They are also analysing publicly available data from social networks. The research project is being funded by the German Research Foundation.

To automatically measure emotions and stress levels, the researchers outfit their test subjects with sensors, similar to a wristwatch. “That allows us to measure skin conductance, body temperature and variations in heart rate that change, for instance, when someone is startled,” explains Dr. Bernd Resch. The geoinformatics expert from the Institute of Geography at Heidelberg University leads the research project together with Dr. Peter Zeile of the Department of Regional and Environmental Planning at the Kaiserslautern University of Technology.

Measurements can point to stress-inducing trouble spots in need of improvement, such as bike paths where cyclists continually encounter dangerous situations. “The sensors allow us to capture subjective feelings of safety, such as in an underpass.

We can then check if this is a ‘scary space’ and how we can deal with it, ideally during the planning stage,” explains Bernd Resch. The data is also expected to provide insight into stress caused by noise and heat, as well as the positive impact of urban planning measures such as green space as relaxation areas.

In addition to the measurements, the researchers are evaluating publicly accessible data from social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and Instagram. “We have a wealth of subjective, user-generated data at our disposal – a well-suited source of data in a project targeted towards human personal feelings,” underscores Dr. Resch. The scientists will use these sources to validate their results by checking whether the emotions measured correlate with the subjective assessments in the social media.

“Not only is the location of the event important in the analysis, but also the semantics of the statements; therefore our innovative research approach also ties in computational linguistics,” explains the geoinformatics expert. “The computer will detect emotions in a specific context, allowing planners to better evaluate them.“

The goal of the “Urban Emotions” project is to discover how dynamic urban processes as yet unidentified can be captured and influenced using information on emotions. “Our vision is to create a system that actively involves the citizens in spatial observation. They are to help create another form of spatial perception and thus develop a new view of the city as a type of ‘organism’”, explains Dr. Zeile. The researchers are studying how to best capture emotion data, how resilient the data is and how to compile it for use in urban planning. “If successful, these new, creative methods will be a valuable addition to traditional urban planning,” says Dr. Resch.

The teams in Heidelberg and Kaiserslautern are also receiving scientific and technical support from the Center for Geographic Analysis of Harvard University, the Civic Data Design Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge (USA), and Research Studios Austria – iSPACE in Salzburg.

Note of Dr. Bernd Resch: The project has been transferred to University of Salzburg, s. http://gepris.dfg.de/gepris/projekt/252146704 , and will be carried out as a cooperation project)

Contact:
Dr. Bernd Resch
Institute of Geography
Department of Geoinformatics
Phone +49 6221 54-5573
bernd.resch@geog.uni-heidelberg.de

Communications and Marketing
Press Office
Phone: +49 6221 54-2311
presse@rektorat.uni-heidelberg.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.geog.uni-heidelberg.de/gis/urbanemotions_en.html

Marietta Fuhrmann-Koch | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Further reports about: Analysis Design Environmental Geography Massachusetts Phone Technology environment

More articles from Interdisciplinary Research:

nachricht Many muons: Imaging the underground with help from the cosmos
19.12.2016 | DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

nachricht Lego-like wall produces acoustic holograms
17.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Interdisciplinary Research >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

Im Focus: Repairing defects in fiber-reinforced plastics more efficiently

Fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) are frequently used in the aeronautic and automobile industry. However, the repair of workpieces made of these composite materials is often less profitable than exchanging the part. In order to increase the lifetime of FRP parts and to make them more eco-efficient, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Apodius GmbH want to combine a new measuring device for fiber layer orientation with an innovative laser-based repair process.

Defects in FRP pieces may be production or operation-related. Whether or not repair is cost-effective depends on the geometry of the defective area, the tools...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>