What are the research methods appropriate to a world of smart cities? How do we bring the power of data to bear on complex, multidimensional problems? How do we combine insights from big data analysis, cheap digital sensors, drone photography and laser scanners with social processes of decision-making, mediation of stakeholder interests, citizen involvement, and insights from behavioural and complexity sciences? Given the complexity of urban systems, how do we identify and study emergent phenomena not visible to current analytical or documentary lenses?

This second volume in the Future Cities Laboratory Indicia series focuses on the tools, methods, approaches needed for urban research. It considers the materials, methods, tools, techniques of urban research, and research approaches that support them. It shows how design thinking, creation of solution spaces, and stakeholder engagement can be brought to bear on wicked problems.

The Future Cities Laboratory (FCL) was established by ETH-Zürich and Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF), and operates under the auspices of the Singapore–ETH Centre (SEC).