650 Childs Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

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Department of Urban Planning & Spatial Analysis (DUPSA) Seminar Series 

Sarah Williams is currently an Associate Professor of Technology and Urban Planning. She also is Director of the Civic Data Design Lab at MIT's School of Architecture and Planning. The Civic Data Design Lab works with data, maps, and mobile technologies to develop interactive design and  communication strategies that expose urban policy issues to broader audiences. Trained as a Geographer (Clark University), Landscape Architect (University of Pennsylvania), and Urban Planner (MIT), Williams's work combines geographic analysis and design. Before coming to MIT, Williams was Co-Director of the Spatial Information Design Lab at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture  Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Her design work has been widely  exhibited including work in the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York City. Williams has won numerous awards including being named top 25 planners in the technology and 2012 Game Changer by Metropolis Magazine. Her work is currently on view in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Seoul Biennale Cities Exhibition in Korea.  

Abstract: Big Data will not change the world unless it is collected and synthesized into to tools that generate policy change! The Civic Data Design Lab has develops tools, visualizations, and analysis which helps to facilitate policy change. This talk calls everyone to act on the lab's motto of  Build It, Hack It, Share It - by showing examples from lab projects that crowdsource transportation data, capture social media, automate development of zoning envelopes, and use sensors to understand the use public space. All the projects show that building tools with big data can generate policy change. 

Please contact jenc@usc.edu to RSVP

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  • Daniel Pollak

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