Project 02: Small-Scale and Time-Based Urban Qualities

Project 02: Small-Scale and Time-Based Urban Qualities, with Dan Anthony of NBBJ

Super-Islands – The Human Scale

Part 01, Week 07, Theoretical Framework, Method Workshops, Data Acquisition and Visualization

We will investigate as a group a theoretical framework of urban ecology. It will include areas of air, water and heat/light as well as a lens of effective social interaction.

The framework and data collection of the 2016 Urban Design Program Project 02 will provide a database and starting point.

Project 02 outline:

Part 1, Week 07 – Theory, ideation, indicator selection, scale of space and time, skills workshops, pilot data acquisition and visualization.

Part 2, Week 08 – Indicator refinements, primary data collections and refined visualizations.

Part 3, Week 09 – Data collections, visualizations and findings.

Part 4, Week 10 – Berlin, comparative study including research question, pilot data acquisition, refined/adapted indicators, visualization, comparative visualization and findings.


Part 01, Methods

  • Interrogation for scale of space and time  (24 hours  + Street Scale of Data)
  • Animation / Web – representation, tell story of characteristics of neighborhood (video clip)
  • Onsite / Online  (Arduino, sensors and programming + Data parsing, weather data API) Smart Citizens

**Reading – Nabian (MIT SENSEable Cities Lab) reading Data Access 



Discuss what we know and learned about the Arduino sensors and other (sound and wind) technology?

** see notes with Ilia




  • Poblenou Superilla (waterfront) – Tanger to Pallars / Badajoz to Llacuna
  • Eixample Esquerra (downtown) – Gran Via/Arago to Compte de Urgell/Muntaner

Baseline spaces:
1) Gracia plazas at night:

  • Plaza del Sol
  • Plaza de la Vila de Gracia
  • Plaza de Revolucio

2) Enric de Granados

*) Carrer de Amilia Vermell

**) Beach and Mountain top



Space and Resolution/Time (points?)

3 scales of space.   1 position over time (as many as possible).

Urban Room Scale (8 points per street or intersection) 

  • street plan (8 point)
  • sides of street (8 points)
  • intersections plan (8 points)
  • street section (4 pts)
  • intersection section (4 pts)

Intra-Superilla (see urban room scale)


  • three blocks along the same Superilla street
  • three intersections along the same Superilla street


  • street to parallel street
  • street to perpendicular street

Inter-Superilla (1 per chamfer, 6 per street)   88 points, inside Superilla only

  • superilla to superilla (Poblenou 01 to Eixample 01)
    • 2 adjacent poblenou superilles
    • 1 poblenou near beach and 1 poblenou away from beach
    • 8 superilles throughout city

Gracia plazas (9 total, 8 at perimeter and 1 at center)


  • same time different locations
  • morning, noon and night
  • 24 hour one location



Week 07

Arduino: Brandon, Daniel, Kevin, Harrison, Ilia, Hannah

GH: All

GH Hardcore: Brandon, Hannah, Harrison, Kevin, Izzy, Jake

Data Scrubbing Online: Ilia, Brandon, Borka

Week 08

Data Collection – wind, Daniel (sound input)   ** +all students 

Grasshopper Data Workflow (Geometry) – Jake, Ilia, Izzy, Brandon, Borka, Daniel (trees input/output)

Post Production Drawings / Rendering – Harrison, Kevin + Hannah (mounds and water)


**LIGHT / HEAT** – Human Comfort


  • Air Temperature –  DHT22
  • Humidity – DHT22
  • Light sensor –  photo resistor
  • Wind –  online
  • Baseline of City sensors, in Neighborhood


  • building height (3d models)

**AIR **


  • NOx (NO2)   {do not include CO}
  • Baseline of City sensors, in Neighborhood
  • wind speed
  • wind direction


  • tree location density (on-site)
  • tree species (on-site)
  • tree height (do not include)
  • tree canopy width, diameter
  • tree planter type (above or below grade)
  • tree planter size, area (m2)
  • street width (gathered off-site)
  • street orientation (off-site)




  • Decibels
  • Type of sound: natural      
  • Type of sound: people
  • Type of sound: mechanical
  • Baseline of City sensors, in Neighborhood


  • Ground Floor Use Type (type of shop – rated for sound)
  • Above Ground Floor Type Use (apartment, office, other) 
  • Ability to Sit, Public (yes / no)
  • Ability to Sit, Private (yes / no)

Fixed Data signup, due Tuesday, August 8th 10 AM use post category [9b Pilot Data + Viz]

Fixed Data

  • Harrison  and Hannah Poblenou 01, Eixample 01, 3 gracia spaces and E Granados   (13 business types: Ground  Floor use, Above Ground Floor Use, Ability to Site, Public and Ability to Sit, Private, Building Hts of Eixample, 3 Gracia and E de Granados)   ***Eixample 01 to be completed + higher rez areas
    • Harrison   [Viz – data to design tool workflow]
    • Hannah      [Viz – Psychometric chart over time – heat/humidity + heat index]
  • Izzy + Borka, trees   [closest-points viz or GIS VIZ tool – tags]  (1 street of three blocks in Poblenou Superilla + 1 Plz Sol    {…new CSV with tree data}
    • {1hr/ 3 block street} + {20m}
    • ***complete 2 Superilles, other Gracia Plazas and E de Granados

Phenomena Sensor Data signup, due Tuesday, August 8th (1 Superilla and 1 Gracia Plaza) + (1 fixed location over time)    *gas=Carbon Monoxide  **17h57; 19h30

  • Ilia, wind dir+spd (1 Poblenou + Gracia Plaza)  [animated wind bar, still of bars, mesh]
    • {40m Poblenou 01, 3 1/2m Plz Revolucio-pins} ; {1/m for 20 minutes} …consistent; more data when still
    • ***need longer period – 14-24 hour, 1/hr (5 minutes); 9h, 12h, 16h, 21h
  • Kevin, temp/humid/light/gas [Superilla-GIS VIZ/anim, Workflow , Design Axo]
    • {30m Poblenou 01-path, 3 1/2m Plza Revolucio-pins} ; {3s for 20 minutes}
  • Brandon, temp/humid/light/gas    [street or intersection over time + Gracia plaza over time]
    • {10m Poblenou 01 3-block loop-path; 3X…very little change} ; {10m+20m in Plz Revolucio…very little change}
    • ***need longer period – 14-24 hour
  • Daniel, sound [up and down one street at 8 points + 1 location at intersection + location at middle of street]  ***do data collect yet***
    • ***need longer period – 1/hr 14-24 hour (5m); 9h, 12h, 16h, 21h (5m)

On-line, Off-Site City Sensors, due Tuesday August 8th (viz)

  • Jake (overall perspective, graph, animate 6 days, animate 24 hrs) (Human UI?)
    • {has Poblenou 01 and Eixample 01; **need Gracia + E de Granados}
    • {temp, humidity, wind dir+spd, **needs sound + light (Smart Citizen Network)}


Design Tool and Post Production

  • planter design
  • axo
  • perspective
  • plans and sections?



Hardware (how), collect/calibration (why),  Representation/Response (what), online (City Data/online)

I.  Temp / Humidity

II.  Air Quality (NO2, CO)

III.  Sound

IV. Trees


For August 8:

Discuss pilot testing. Limits, issues, incomplete?

Progress on data collect/data visualization?

Feedback on data viz and assistance with technical issues

Project 01


Next week:

88 point collection- eixample and poblenou (3 over the day?)

Gracia plazas morning, noon, and night, enric de granados morning noon and night

Comparative collection: mountain/poblenou/sea at same time Intersections in superilla morning/noon/night


Part 02




  • Clean and verify data
    • no nulls (-1)
    • no zeros (0)
    • no text
    • include location, date and time in all spreadsheets cell A1`
  • File Nomenclature:
    • Category_Study Area_Date_Morning or Afternoon_Name




Off Site




input and outputs



Pushing deeper into Arduino and Grasshopper is actually going well. It’s not easy, as Dan concurred.

Can be somewhat separate approaches but come together in one space.

Tree Tool

We already discussed a cool tree tool (Borka, Izzy and Betty Lou)!!!

Mounds? HUMAN COMFORT With water element? Human comfort…

Sound filtered screen reactive to uses and or phenomena?

Air quality – design, understanding intraurban patterns such as difference of street directions, locations near waterfront, building height, street width, Lanes of traffic, tree species, tree density, hedge walls (shrubs)?


Week 06
[Assignment 09a: DATA AND DESIGN 2.1] due Tuesday 10am:

  2. DIAGRAM – URBAN ECOLOGY (Guallart, Rueda)
    1. Fixed Urban Form- Ex. street width, tree canopy, orientation to prevailing winds
    2. Phenomena – Natural or Human
  4. TYPES OF DATA: (in spreadsheet)
    Phenomena vs Fixed
    On-site vs Offsite
    Public vs Private
  5. SCALE OF DIFFERENCES – can you say the scale is too small or too big
  6. VISUALIZING OVER TIME as Series, gif, movie – repetition over time of day, week
  7. GUERILLA INSTALLATIONS, ARDUINO PLATFORM – 1 hr, 12 hr, 24hr. (optional for next week – could pilot test)

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