This workshop will focus on the scientific methods that will enable the next-generation cities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for cities to increasingly become more effective in delivering basic public services, utilizing emerging technologies, to better serve its residents. This workshop is motivated by three recent advances: a technology-driven future; new regulations to combat emerging social changes; and advances in computational sciences. The socio-technological innovations have enabled the generation of large volume of disparate, dynamic and geographically distributed data and motivated the creation of smart and connected cities. A smart and connected city leverages electronic methods, sensors and data science approaches to collect data, manage assets and services efficiently, thereby providing citizens with high-quality life. With increasing extreme events, the focus is also to build resilient cities. A resilient city focuses on bouncing back to its previous stage in the face of an emergency while meeting the daily activities and needs of its citizens. While resilient city discussion is still revolving around using socio-cultural and political factors and values, the smart city discussion focuses on where and when to use sensor technologies and how to automate decision-making. It is imperative for cities to be both resilient and smart so that technologies can be leveraged to tackle the challenges ranging from climate change, public health, traffic congestion, economic growth, to digital divide, social equity, political movements, and cultural conflicts, among others. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the difference between smart and resilient cities more so than any other extreme events. For instance, the availability of real-time data and analytics, cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) enabled the development of dashboards and platforms to help with decision-making during the pandemic. While necessary and useful, these platforms and dashboards and big data have not been helpful in addressing the resilience of the impacted communities as evident from the economic stress that every country is facing. The smart city initiatives also have not been able to enhance and improve the resilience of the critical infrastructures as well as the heightened need to adapt and mitigate climate change impacts while achieving net zero carbon. Intelligent cities and infrastructures need to be planned and designed under the framework of resilience such that sensor technologies can aid with real-time knowledge discovery, decision-making, response and recovery in the aftermath of extreme events. This essentially requires using big data, artificial intelligence/machine learning, high performance computing, edge and cloud computing, interactive visualization, simulation and modeling in the context current and future extreme events to help cities be intelligent and resilient. Hence, this workshop fits the general theme of ACM SIGSPATIAL.
Following the successes of the last three ARIC workshops held at ACM SIGSPATIAL Conferences in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and the vision of the post-COVID era to build back better, the 4th International Workshop on Advances on Resilient and Intelligent Cities (ARIC 2021) is timely. Thus, the overarching theme of 2021 ARIC Workshop is to identify current advancements, challenges and future directions in science and technology to address the convergence of climate justice, net zero carbon and infrastructure resilience. Through keynotes, paper-sessions and panels, this workshop will bring together researchers, practitioners from academia, public and private sector, and national laboratories from different disciplines to address the state-of-the-art techniques/methods, limitations and challenges for next generation cities and infrastructures.
The anticipated target group will include researchers and practitioners from academia, industry, policy institutions and national laboratories. Given their collective experience in smart and resilient city research, the workshop organizers are in a unique position to identify, invite and engage the target group for this workshop.
The researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are involved in the U.S. Department of Energy’s research in the area of grid resiliency. The faculty from George Mason University (GMU), involved in NSF and DOT, funded projects addressing the resilience and sustainability of interdependent infrastructure systems. The faculty from Texas A & M University are involved in NSF funded projects on the development of open knowledge networks through the combination and testing of participatory and automated ontology development processes for urban and environmental resilience.