Goals and Call

This workshop aims into bringing together researchers and practitioners to discuss and explore the research challenges and opportunities in applying the web, the mobile, the pervasive and the social computing paradigm to understand cities and, crucially, engage their citizens in an effort to reclaim urban space for improving their quality of life. Our goal is to create a better understanding of cities and a living lab for understanding both technological and social phenomena. The interdisciplinary focus aims into attracting and welcomes diverse researchers from social sciences and information systems.

Topics and Themes

We are seeking multi-disciplinary contributions that reveal interesting aspects about urban life and exploit the digital traces to create novel citizen centric applications that benefit not only citizens, but also urban planners and policy makers. This is especially important with many cities now signing up for opportunities to participate in Living Labs or Smarter Cities pilot programs, the need to discuss and evaluate where these projects are going is highly topical at this time. Though the concept of “smart cities” is widely popular, there is still no consensus on how to pursue this goal. The workshop topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Improving understanding of the city through mining social media (including location-based services) in the urban context
  • Open data platforms
  • Urban crowdsourcing
  • Civic sensing technologies
  • Intelligent urban services
  • Use of social media to engage citizens, for example through gamification
  • Disaster recovery and coordination using social media
  • Modeling of human mobility
  • Use of social media to engage citizens
  • Visualization and interfaces to facilitate the exploration of urban data
  • Privacy and ethical concerns
  • Internet of Things (IoT) for cities
  • Mobilizing the community through social media
  • Pervasive applications for user interaction and data collection
  • Enabling citizen and NGO initiatives through social media
  • Digital Fabrication tools for adaptable cities

Registration for participating in the workshop is now open here


Program Committee Chairs

Program Committee Members

  • Seraphim Alvanides (University of Northumbria at Newcastle)
  • Clio Andris (Penn State)
  • Francesco Calabrese (IBM Research)
  • Licia Capra (University College London)
  • Justin Cranshaw (Microsoft Research)
  • Theodoros Damoulas (University of Warwick)
  • Rosta Farzan (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Philipp Heidkamp (Köln International School of Design)
  • Alison Heppenstall (University of Leeds)
  • Renaud Lambiotte (University of Namur)
  • Ed Manley (University College London)
  • Cecilia Mascolo (University of Cambridge)
  • Mirco Musolesi (University College London)
  • Anastasios Noulas (Lancaster University)
  • Kerstin Sailer (University College London)
  • Raz Schwartz (Facebook)
  • Alex Singleton (University of Liverpool)
  • Max Sklar (Foursquare)



We solicit 6-pages research papers that will present original, previously unpublished, research. Each one of the accepted papers will be allocated a 15-minute slot during the workshop (12 minutes for presentation and 3 minutes for questions). All papers must follow AAAI formatting guidelines.


  • Papers submission: March 1, 2016
  • Paper acceptance notification: March 11, 2016
  • Final camera-ready paper due: March 17,2016
  • City Lab Workshops Day: May 17, 2016

You can submit your paper here.

Accepted Papers/Program

9:00am-9:10am Opening remarks

9:10am-10:30am Session 1 (15 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion)
  • Dan Tasse, Jennifer T. Chou and Jason Hong, Generating Neighborhood Guides from Social Media
  • Michela Arnaboldi, Marco Mrambilla, Beatrice Cassottana, Paolo Ciuccarelli, Davide Ripamonti, Simone Vantini and Riccardo Volonterio, An Experience on Studying Multicultural Diversity of Cities through Social Media Language Detection

10:30am-11:00am Coffee Break

11:00am-12:30pm Session 2 (15 minutes presentation + 10 minutes discussion)
  • Myeong Lee and Rosta Farzan, This is not just a café: Toward Capturing the Dynamics of Urban Places
  • Kostas Cheliotis, Capturing Real-Time Public Space Activity using Publicly Available Digital Traces
  • Alireza Abbasi, Taha H Rashidi and Mojtaba Maghrebi, How Universal Human Mobility Patterns Are?
  • Desislava Hristova, David Liben-Nowell, Anastasios Noulas and Cecilia Mascolo, If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time: Spatio-Temporal Footprints of Spending at Sports Events on Foursquare

12:30pm-2:00pm Lunch break

2:00pm-5:00pm Urban Informatics tutorial

6:00pm-8:00pm Urban beers (see details below)

Urban Beers

The worshop will include an "Urban Beers" session, which will bring together the local community with the global network of researchers that will participate in the workshop and allow for a productive idea exchange. We welcome urban enthusiasts from all horizons (e.g., startups, academia, local government) to share their stories and free beers. It will start with a quick presentation from the local stakeholders as well as an 1-minute madness-type presentation from the workshop authors and any other participant that would like to do so. Let's share our ideas on all aspects of technologically-enhanced urban life, related to its economics, governance, sustainability and design! If you are interested in presenting to the ``Urban Beers'' session of the workshop, please send your presentation title and a brief intro about yourself to Kostas and Daniele. To simply participate at the event, please visit the meetup page.

More details can be found here as well.

The "Urban Beers" session will take place in a location outside the traditional academic environment (Startplatz - Im Mediapark 5, Köln) in order to facilitate the interactions. The list of speakers includes:

  • Victoria Blechman-Pomogajko and Lorenz Graf,Startplatz
  • Carmen Mac Williams, Grassroots and the Future Internet Program
  • Timo Hoffmann, Rethink Traffic!
  • Rijurekha Sen, SnapCity: Scalable Urban Data Collection From The Web
  • Panagiotis Liakos, GALENA: Galileo-based solutions for urban freight transport
  • Dan Tasse, Generating Neighborhood Guides from Social Media