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Responsive Cities

ETH Zurich via edX

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Responsive cities define the future of urbanization. They evolve from smart cities, with a fundamental difference: The citizens move from the center of attention to the center of action. Responsive citizens use smart technology to contribute to planning, design and management of their cities.

Responsive cities are about bringing cities back to their citizens. Responsive cities change the way the technology of a smart city is used. The first Smart Cities were technology driven and they produced large amounts of data from fixed or centrally controlled sensors. But by now, the citizens and their mobile phones have taken the leading role in direct data generation. Rather than using data that are centrally collected and stored, you will see platforms on which the citizens place the data and the information they decide to share. With this, your own responsibility becomes a foundation of a Responsive City. Cities evolve from being smart to being responsive.

To demonstrate the potential of Responsive Cities, this course will define the concept of Citizen Design Science, a combination of Citizen Design, Citizen Science and Design Science. Experts, citizens and scientists participate in Citizen Design Science. This approach is still in an early stage of development, but with the Responsive Cities Massive Open Online Course, you will be ahead in exploring and defining its possibilities.

‘Responsive cities’ is the fourth edition of the ‘Future Cities’ series on urban MOOCs. The ‘Future Cities’ series is the first and complete series of urban courses dealing with the design, management and transformation of cities for their sustainable and resilient future. With every edition, the series becomes more interactive. It increasingly empowers citizens around the world to become part of the development of their own cities, especially in those places where this knowledge is needed most. Therefore, the course is inclusive for every individual interested in the planning, construction, redevelopment and management of future cities. The course is open to anyone regardless of background, skills, knowledge, or age.


Week 1: Warmup week
Week 2: Introduction to the Responsive Cities
Week 3: Information Cities
Week 4: Smart Cities
Week 5: From Smart to Responsive
Week 6: Responsive and livable cities
Week 7: Citizen-design science
Week 8: Responsive Governance
Week 9: Responsive building design and city planning
Week 10: Responsive cities

Taught by

Gerhard Schmitt, Estefania Tapias, Stephen Cairns, Markus Schläpfer, Bige Tunçer, Kevin Schawinski, Lai Choo Malone-Lee , Kees Christiaanse , Ina Homeier and Corine Mauch


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