Just as building design should incorporate the complex occupant system, design at larger scales should take into account the human patterns of behavior that make up a city. Areas of investigation include:

  • How optimization can aid urban planning decisions in order to maximize the accessibility of amenities on foot—a city’s walkability. This approach explicitly addresses environmental aspects of urban design (i.e., through reduced dependence on automobiles), but there are potential social benefits as well, such as improved social cohesion and social resilience in the face of shocks such as natural disasters.
  • Data-driven analysis of the relationship between different components of walkable urban form and neighborhood-level social cohesion. Leveraging large open datasets, what can nuanced statistical analysis tell us about how urban form impacts human interactions at the urban scale?